Hong Kong student leaders spared jail for pro-democracy street protests

Hong Kong (CNN)Two student leaders who brought tens of thousands onto Hong Kong’s streets during pro-democracy protests in 2014 have been spared jail, with a local court saying they genuinely believed in their political ideals.

A magistrates’ court in Hong Kong on Monday sentenced Joshua Wong to 80 hours of community service after he was convicted last month for taking part in a rally on September 26, 2014 in front of Hong Kong’s Central Government Offices. The rally sparked the two-month long Occupy Central demonstrations, also known as the Umbrella Movement.

Nathan Law was sentenced to 120 hours of community service for inciting others to take part in an unlawful assembly at that same rally.

A third man, Alex Chow, was given a three-week jail term suspended for one year. However, unless Chow commits a criminal offense in the next year he won’t spend time in jail.
Chow’s sentence was going to be 80 hours community service but was changed because he is going abroad to study, the court said.
“The court accepted that all three defendants expressed their opinions and demands because they genuinely believe in their political ideals and were concerned about the status of (Hong Kong) society,” according to the court document issued on the sentencing.Read more…
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