Lee Wing-tat was among nine leading Umbrella Movement activists found guilty of public nuisance for their involvement in the 2014 pro-democracy protests on Tuesday. His legal team have shared Lee’s final submission to the court ahead of his sentencing. He read out a Chinese version in court on Wednesday morning.

A mitigation statement by Lee Wing-tat.

His Honour Judge Johnny Chan,

Freedom of procession, demonstration, assembly and expression are fundamental human rights of citizens. Citizens should also have the right to choose their own government by way of election. During the 1980s, when Britain and China were negotiating about Hong Kong’s future and drafting the Basic Law, the Central People’s Government already promised that ultimately, a system would be given to Hong Kong citizens to elect the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council by universal suffrage. However, over 30 years have passed, and all these have become empty promises. The 831 constitutional reform package passed by the NPCSC in 2014 is simply, through and through, a false universal suffrage proposal, completely crushing Hong Kong citizen’s hopes of electing the Chief Executive by universal suffrage.

Lee Wing-tat
Lee Wing-tat. File Photo: Stand News.

Hong Kong citizens feel outraged by the Central People Government’s repeated breaking of its promise. They, therefore, exercised the bit of freedom of procession, demonstration, assembly and expression that they still enjoy expressing their strong opinions and anger to the government.

After the announcement of the 831 Decision, the OCLP Trio, The Hong Kong Federation of Students, Scholarism, and democrats organised a series of assemblies and protests in the vicinity of the Legislative Council, which triggered the holding a number of other protest actions.

As one of the organisers of this protest movement, I feel that this has been the most glorious moment of my life, to be able to express my strong opinions together with great numbers of citizens in a peaceful and non-violent manner towards the HKSAR government and the Central People’s Government, to demand for universal suffrage of the Chief Executive as soon as possible.

I know that the road of fighting for democracy is long, rough and winding. I will not be discouraged, and I also believe that Hong Kong citizens will not be discouraged. I believe that as long as the hearts of Hong Kong citizens’ do not die, the day of universal suffrage will definitely come.

Kong Tsung-gan‘s new collection of essays – narrative, journalistic, documentary, analytical, polemical, and philosophical – trace the fast-paced, often bewildering developments in Hong Kong since the 2014 Umbrella Movement. As Long As There Is Resistance, There Is Hope is available exclusively through HKFP with a min. HK$200 donation. Thanks to the kindness of the author, 100 per cent of your payment will go to HKFP’s critical 2019 #PressForFreedom Funding Drive. 

funding drive press for freedom kong tsung-gan

Guest contributors for Hong Kong Free Press.