Three activists behind Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement have filed their appeals on Friday, nine days after the court handed down their sentences.

Law scholar Benny Tai and retired sociology professor Chan Kin-man – both of whom are serving 16-month jail sentences on public nuisance charges – will appeal against their convictions and sentences. Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, who received a suspended sentence of two years, will appeal his conviction.

Chu Yiu-ming, Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai
The Occupy Trio before receiving their verdict. Photo: Holmes Chan/HKFP.

Lawyers for the three activists – known together as the “Occupy trio” – confirmed to reporters on Friday that a notice of appeal has been filed. The document sets out the reasons for appeal, which will be refined after the lawyers have a chance to meet with the trio. The case is expected to be heard at the Court of Appeal.

HKFP has reached out to the Department of Justice for comment.

The Occupy trio led the 2013 civil disobedience campaign of Occupy Central with Love and Peace. It was a precursor to the Umbrella Movement, the biggest pro-democracy protest in the city’s history which lasted from September to December of 2014.

On April 9, the district court convicted nine leading activists of the movement on charges related to public nuisance, incitement and conspiracy.

Chan and Tai were given prison terms last week, along with lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun and activist Raphael Wong. The remaining defendants were handed suspended sentences or a community service order.

Occupy nine sentencing
Photo: Jennifer Creery/HKFP,

The latest letter from Wong in prison, dated last Friday, said he was dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling.

“I will actively consider appealing my sentencing in conjunction [with my conviction], but I will not apply for bail. Therefore I will not gain any benefit even if I win, my only concern is that the court should not have a bias towards civil disobedience,” he wrote.

Shiu’s lawyer had previously said an appeal was being considered.

Sentencing for lawmaker Tanya Chan was delayed to June 10 owing to a newly revealed brain condition, requiring urgent surgery.

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Holmes Chan

Holmes Chan

Holmes Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. He covers local news with a focus on law, politics, and social movements. He studied law and literature at the University of Hong Kong.