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Hong Kong's "Occupy" leaders found guilty over 2014 protests

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:50s - Published < > Embed
Hong Kong's 'Occupy' leaders found guilty over 2014 protests

Hong Kong's "Occupy" leaders found guilty over 2014 protests

A Hong Kong court found nine pro-democracy leaders involved in the 2014 'Occupy' movement guilty on public nuisance charges.

Each could face at least seven years in jail.

Jayson Albano reports.

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Hong Kong's "Occupy" leaders found guilty over 2014 protests

Nine pro-democracy activists arrived in a Hong Kong court Tuesday (April 9) where they were found guilty of charges tied to the city's "Occupy" movement.

Each could face at least seven years in jail.

They were leaders of mass protests in 2014, which brought parts of the city to a standstill.

Critics say their trial shows political freedoms are disappearing in the former British colony that is now under Chinese rule.

Outside the court, scores of supporters held yellow umbrellas and pro-democracy placards.

Pro-government supporters were also present, some demanding the nine deserved prison time.

All nine defendants appeared outside the court, vowing to continue to push for their right to vote freely for the city's leader and lawmakers as written in the city's mini-constitution, the so-called Basic Law.

The judge handed down the verdict on public nuisance charges but did not immediately give any sentences.

Three of the nine activists - Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and 75-year-old pastor Chu Yiu-ming - were accused of leading the sit in.

They had pled not guilty to all charges.

Tuesday's verdict was the latest in a series of trials that have seen many Hong Kong pro-democracy activists jailed.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST BENNY TAI, SAYING "People today with me together, we will continue to strive for Hong Kong's democracy and we will persist on and we will not give up." The 2014 Occupy protests are seen by many as Beijing's biggest populist challenge in decades.

They blocked major roads for 79 days before being cleared by police, and without winning any democratic concessions from Beijing.

Since the 1997 handover, when Hong Kong was returned from British to Chinese rule, critics say China has broken its promise to maintain Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, under what's labeled the "one country, two systems" arrangement.



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