Hong Kong Law & Crime

Democracy activist Joshua Wong applies to appeal at Hong Kong’s top court over jail sentence

Activist Joshua Wong has filed an application seeking permission to appeal his jail sentence. It comes after the Court of Appeal handed him six months behind bars last month for his role in the Civic Square clashes that led to the 2014 Occupy protests.

Fellow democracy activists Nathan Law and Alex Chow, who also received jail terms, previously filed appeals.

A Department of Justice spokesperson told HKFP that they received Wong’s application to the Court of Final Appeal on Tuesday. Wong claimed that a substantial and grave injustice had been done at the Court of Appeal.

joshua wong

Joshua Wong. File photo: In-Media.

See more: HKFP’s full coverage of the Occupy protests

Last year, Wong was found guilty of unlawful assembly by the Magistrates Court. He was given 80 hours of community service, which he completed. However, the Department of Justice filed a sentence review pushing for harsher punishment, citing the need for “deterrence.”

“In recent years, an unhealthy wind has been blowing in Hong Kong. Some people, on the pretext of pursuing their ideals or freely exercising their rights conferred by law, have acted wantonly in an unlawful manner,” said Judge Wally Yeung said in the re-sentencing judgment.

Nathan Law and Joshua Wong.

Nathan Law and Joshua Wong. Photo: Karen Cheung/HKFP.

The sentence was heavily criticised by human rights bodies and pro-democracy parties, and triggered an international backlash.

Thousands of supporters took to the streets in Hong Kong to protest their sentences that weekend. Wong, upon hearing about the turnout, said that he was “proud” of Hong Kong people.

His sentence, which exceeds three months, means that he is barred from running for public office – including the Legislative Council and District Council – over the next five years.

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Democracy activist Joshua Wong applies to appeal at Hong Kong's top court over jail sentence