Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow jailed over Occupy Protests


On 17 August 2017, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were jailed for their part in the
Occupy protests of 2014.

Joshua Wong was sentenced to six months in prison, Alex Chow was sentenced to seven months,
and Nathan Law received eight months in Jail.

The sentencing followed a successful appeal of their sentences by the Department of Justice. The
trio had already served community service after their original trial. Upon the sentencing, Wong tweeted: “They can silence protests, remove us from the legislature and lock us up. But they will not win the hearts and minds of Hongkongers.”

Last July, the trio were convicted on unlawful assembly charges. Wong was sentenced to 80 hours of community service, Law received 120 hours, whilst Chow received a three-week suspended jail sentence. However, the Department of Justice applied for a review of the sentence earlier this month, arguing that the storming of the government headquarters’ forecourt was planned, and that the court neglected the gravity of the offence. Wong and Law had already completed their community service orders at the time.

Lawyers and activists have since highlighted that this is a breach of the legal principle of double
jeopardy. Benedict Rogers, the Chairman of Trustees at Hong Kong Watch said, “With these sentences, the Hong Kong government has trampled on the rule of law. A year ago, Joshua and Nathan were sentenced to community service - 80 and 120 hours respectively - which they served. But in violation of the principle of “double jeopardy” - which prevents a person being tried for the same ‘crime’ twice - the government sought a tougher sentence. This is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Benedict Rogers continued: “Nathan Law, Joshua Wong and Alex Chow are brave, principled young men with extraordinary integrity who should be commended, not jailed. Their imprisonment is a deep injustice.”

Further reading: Guardian, New York Times, Financial Times, Hong Kong Free Press