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Hong Kong pro-democracy 'Occupy' leaders jailed

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:52s - Published < > Embed
Hong Kong pro-democracy 'Occupy' leaders jailed

Hong Kong pro-democracy 'Occupy' leaders jailed

Four pro-democracy activists who were involved in the city's 'Occupy' protests in 2014 were sentenced to jail on Wednesday.

Jayson Albano reports.

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Hong Kong pro-democracy 'Occupy' leaders jailed

Hong Kong sentenced four democracy activists to prison Wednesday (April 24) for their roles in the city's 'Occupy' movement nearly five years ago.

A court found them and five others guilty on public nuisance charges earlier this month.

The mass protests brought busy parts of Hong Kong to a standstill and eventually came to be called the Umbrella Movement.

Two of the three activists accused of leading those rallies, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man were each jailed for 16 months.

However the third, retired pastor Chu Yiu-ming, received a suspended sentence on account of his age and years of public service.

Outside the courts, pro-democracy supporters held up yellow umbrellas - a symbol of Occupy.

SOUNDBITE (English), PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST LEE WING-TAT, SAYING: "The Hong Kong people will not give up the fight for democracy.

And I really believe (that) when I (am) released from prison, I will see a stronger and more powerful democratic movement in Hong Kong." Since the city was returned to China from British rule in 1997, critics say Beijing has broken its promise to maintain Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, under what's labeled the "one country, two systems" arrangement.

The Umbrella protests were one of the most significant challenges to China's Communist Party leaders since Tiananmen Square.

Occupy protesters demanded Beijing allow universal suffrage for Hong Kong.

Protesters blocked major roads for 79 days in non-violent sit-ins before being forcibly cleared by police, and without winning any democratic concessions from Beijing.

The trial of the activists was seen as the most significant legal move by authorities to punish those involved in Occupy.

Before their sentencing, the activist leaders urged supporters to take to the streets this Sunday (April 28) to protest against proposed extradition laws that would let people be sent from the city to mainland China for trial.




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