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Hong Kong court convicts 12 for storming city legislature in 2019

2 months ago 58

NEW DELHI: A

Hong Kong court

has sentenced 12 individuals to jail terms ranging from over four years to nearly seven years in a high-profile rioting case associated with the storming of the city's legislature during a

pro-democracy protest

in 2019.
The protesters breached Hong Kong's

legislative council building

on July 1, 2019, breaking windows and entering as public outrage grew over an

extradition bill

allowing the transfer of individuals to mainland China for trial.

Among those sentenced by district court Judge Li Chi-ho was actor

Gregory Wong

, 45, who received a six-year and two-month jail term after pleading not guilty. Political activists

Ventus Lau

and Owen Chow, who admitted guilt, were handed sentences of 54 months and 20 days, and 61 months and 15 days, respectively.
Judge Li termed the incident as a 'serious' blow to the city's rule of law, emphasizing the large number of protesters, the intensity of the situation, and the attempt to undermine the government's authority. He described how protesters forcibly entered the building, vandalized the premises, and defaced government symbols.
Althea Suen, 27, former president of the University of Hong Kong's student union, received a sentence of four years and nine months after pleading guilty.
Rioting carries a maximum seven-year sentence in Hong Kong's district court. Over 10,200 individuals were arrested in connection to the 2019 protests, with 2,937 facing charges including rioting, unlawful assembly, and criminal damage. Witness, an online legal news portal, reported that more than 870 people have been charged with rioting.

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