Year 2018 Calendar

Chu Yiu-ming (4th L), law professor Benny Tai (C) và sociology professor Chan Kin-man (3rd R) và other pro-democracy campaigners chant before entering the West Kowloon Magistrates Court in Hong Kong Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images
Chu Yiu-ming (4th L), law professor Benny Tai (C) & sociology professor Chan Kin-man (3rd R) & other pro-democracy campaigners chant before entering the West Kowloon Magistrates Court in Hong Kong Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Three leading Hong Kong democracy campaigners behind the 2014 pro-democracy “umbrella movement” have sầu pleaded not guilty to public nuisance charges.

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Sociology professor Chan Kin-man, law professor Benny Tai, & Christian minister Chu Yiu-ming – founded the Occupy Central movement in 2013 & are among mỏi nine figures lớn face trial on Monday on criminal charges that could skết thúc some of the city’s best known activists lớn prison for seven years.

The justice department has prosecuted leading activists from the năm trước protests, in which huge crowds turned out lớn Điện thoại tư vấn for political rekhung, with some barred from standing for office & others removed from the legislature.

Most of those prosecuted have sầu been young campaigners but now it is the turn of the older generation who originally came up with the idea of taking lớn the streets to dem& a fairer system.

The campaigners called for the occupation of Hong Kong’s business district if the public was not given a fair vote for the city’s leader, who is appointed by a pro-Beijing committee. They urged people to lớn join what became known as the Umbrella Movement as protesters used umbrellas to shield themselves from pepper spray.


The campaign was overtaken by a student movement that took off in September năm trước.

The three men are among mỏi nine pro-democracy defendants facing public nuisance charges for their participation in the protests, which ultimately failed to lớn win political rekhung, despite bringing parts of the đô thị khổng lồ a standstill for more than two months. The defendants accept that they encouraged citizens to occupy parts of the city-state but argue that the charges are unconstitutional.

On Monday, as the trial was due to lớn begin, more than 100 protesters rallied outside the court waving yellow umbrellas, a symbol of the pro-democracy movement, và chanting “I want universal suffrage”. Another protester held an umbrella with the words: “Power to lớn the People.”


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Supporters of Occupy Central pro-democracy movement gather outside a court in Hong Kong Photograph: Bobby Yip/ReutersCampaigners say that the case raises the question of whether Hong Kong’s 50-year governing agreement with Trung Quốc, due khổng lồ expire in 2047, still stands. The one-country, two-systems arrangement negotiated by Margaret Thatcher promised không lấy phí elections and a democratic Hong Kong. Twenty-one years since the đô thị was handed khổng lồ China by the UK, there is less autonomy and weaker civil rights.

Chan has spent years negotiating for democratic changes to Hong Kong’s election system. He said: “The reason we had this protest is that Trung Quốc did not honour a promise to lớn Hong Kong to lớn let it have sầu democracy.

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“We are just an example, showing how the rise of an undemocratic Trung Quốc can be threatening to lớn the rest of the world.”

Hong Kong’s quest for electoral autonomy coincided with a drive sầu for stability by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping. He has worked to quell restive regions, most notably in Xinjiang, where up lớn 1 million Uighur Muslims are imprisoned in detention camps.

Hong Kong is different by design. It’s a place within Trung Quốc but not completely of Trung Quốc, with open courts, independent news outlets & many political parties.

Since the Umbrella Movement took off, the government has stifled prothử nghiệm and punished democracy activists, according khổng lồ human rights agencies.

More than 200 people face prosecutions, including many who were sentenced to prison. Judges ejected six politicians from office, who were accused of deliberatly ignoring their official oaths. Several people were barred from seeking office because the government claimed that their political stances violated the constitution.

One young politician who joined a street brawl with police was sent to prison for six years. The tiny Hong Kong National các buổi tiệc nhỏ, an independence movement, was banned this summer. It was the first time a ban had been issued under national security law since the city’s handover. Soon afterwards, the đô thị denied a work visa to Financial Times journalist Victor Mallet, who hosted the party’s convener at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. Recently, he was barred from returning lớn the thành phố.

“There is a snowball effect taking place here,” said Joshua Rosenzweig, the East Asian research director with Amnesty International, who is based in Hong Kong. “Those concerns about erosion of speech is what agitates young people in particular … Things are potentially more & more risky for people khổng lồ speak their minds.”

Earlier this month, the UN’s Universal Periodic đánh giá for Trung Quốc, a project that monitors the nation’s human rights record, recommended for the first time that China và Hong Kong strengthen civil liberties in the territory.

The Hong Kong delegate, Matthew Cheung, disagreed sharply with the conclusions. “Any concerns that Hong Kong’s freedoms of speech and freedom of the press is under threat are totally groundless,” he said.

Some of the defendants see the trial as a chance lớn reignite the city’s best public spirit traditions. Speeches made by defendants to urge people lớn join the occupation might encourage them khổng lồ question if their constitution still protects their rights to lớn nói qua their views, said Tai, who first proposed the sit-in in 2013.

“The thing that we want khổng lồ achieve sầu with the trial is a continuation of our civil disobedience movement,” Tai said. “We need khổng lồ demonstrate , especially lớn those who have not given up hope for democracy in Hong Kong.

“We can continue to strive for democracy in Hong Kong,” he added. “That may encourage or at least force people to continue their struggle, even though they may feel powerless or frustrated at this moment.”

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