Hong Kong's top court frees student activists

By Catherine Baksi

08 February 2018 at 07:00 BST

Three democracy activists are freed, but court upholds stricter sentencing guidelines for future public order and unlawful protest offences.

Three pro-democracy protesters walked free when the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) quashed their jail sentences for public order act offences arising from their involvement in the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow had originally been given community service and suspended sentences for their involvement in the Hong Kong democracy protests in 2014, which shut down parts of the city for months. But those sentences were increased to jail terms of between six and eight months by the Court of Appeal after the government complained that the non-custodial sentences were too lenient. Quashing their jail terms, the CFA endorsed the Court of Appeal’s  guidelines laid down last year for stricter sentencing in public order offences and unlawful protesting in the future, but said that could not be applied retrospectively.


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