To all activists, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are indispensable rights. From protesting against a government policy to defending villages which housed dozens of families for generations, peoples’ voices cannot be heard if those rights cannot be exercised.
However, across the globe, many governments attempt to silence activists by charging them with rigid laws. Regimes incite fear and create chilling effects by paying no respect to human rights, which eventually threatens citizen participation in peaceful assembly.
The Hong Kong authority has repeatedly been criticized by the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the vague terminology and definition in and the implementation of the Public Order Ordinance. Such practice can restrict our right to peaceful assembly, which is protected by international human rights laws and standards.
We are #WithThem !
Recently, a number of young activists in Hong Kong were prosecuted for violating the Public Order Ordinance and have been sentenced to jail. While in detention, they need our actions now to let them know we are #WithThem. They will never be alone and their bravery is recognised by us all.
We sincerely invite you to join our action to support their bravery.
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Information of some imprisoned activists in Hong Kong
Joshua WONG Chi-fung, Alex CHOW Yong-kang, Nathan LAW Kwun-chung
Student activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were prosecuted for participating in a student-led democracy movement on 26th September 2014. In 2016, the court found these activists guilty on charges of “inciting others to take part in an unlawful assembly” and “taking part in an unlawful assembly” respectively.Either community service orders or the suspended three-week jail sentences were initially meted out. After the Hong Kong authorities applied to review the sentences, the three student leaders have been sentenced for 6 to 8 months jail terms in August this year.
Sunny LEUNG Hiu-yeung, Raphael WONG Ho-ming, LAU Kwok-leung, LEUNG Wing-lai, Ivan LAM Long-yin, David CHU Wai-chung, Willis HO Kit-wang, CHOW Koot-yin, Faning YIM Man-wa, Billy CHIU Hin-chung, KWOK Yiu-cheong, WONG Kan-yuen, CHAN Pak-shan
In 2014, a group of activists carried out a campaign against the North East New Territories Development Plan. They argued that the plan failed to allow the residents in the affected area fully and fairly participate in the consultation process. Besides, they also pointed out the Plan only focus on economic benefits for certain sectors in the society which sacrifice the rights of the residents and the possible sustainable development in Northeast of Hong Kong. In mid of June, 2014 the activists staged a peaceful demonstration against the initial funding for the Plan outside the Legislative Council, 13 of the protestors in the demonstration were arrested and convicted of unlawful assembly and were originally given 80 to 150 hours community service sentences. However, the Hong Kong authorities have applied for an appeal and the hearing has concluded the jail term sentence on activists from 8 to 13 months.