Prison Sentence on Student Leaders of the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution
What Should Be Done to Protect the Freedom and Prosperity of Hong Kong?

Photo provided by Wai Wan TONG

Key points in this article:

  • The three young leaders of the Umbrella Revolution got prison sentences.
  • The three activists will not be able to run for office for the next five years.
  • Hong Kong must serve as a teacher to bring democracy to China.

“They can silence protests, remove us from the legislature and lock us up. But they will not win the hearts and minds of Hongkongers.”

Joshua Wong, a former student leader of the Umbrella Revolution, the 2014 pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, was sentenced to six months in prison for participating in unlawful assembly. He was a key figure that led the pro-democracy movement at the mere age of 20. The opening passage is the message he posted on Twitter immediately after he was given his sentence.

The High Court, the Supreme Court of Hong Kong, sentenced Mr. Wong and two other student leaders to six to eight months in prison. One of the leaders, Nathan Law, won in Hong Kong’s direct election for the first time last year, but he was disqualified from the Legislative Council because the High Court refused to accept his oath in July of the same year.


Prison Sentence Is Aimed to Prevent Protest Leaders From Running for Office

Hong Kong’s Law stipulates that anyone sentenced to three or more months in jail cannot run in any election for five years. Mr. Wong was expected to run for office because he would be reaching the age of eligibility for election next month.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (the August 18th edition), Mr. Ho-fung Hung, an Associate Professor in political economy at Johns Hopkins University, said as follows:

“If he runs he could easily win, and if the government disqualified him like it disqualified many candidates in 2016, that will become an international incident. So the ideal strategy of the government is to make his sentence as harsh as possible so that he won’t be qualified to run from the beginning.”

In short, the jail sentence on the three pro-democracy leaders was aimed to prevent them from running for office.

Despite the fact that “One country, two systems” governance guarantees Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy, the court in Hong Kong has delivered judgment in complying with the wishes of the Chinese government. The jail sentence on the three activists highlighted the fact that Hong Kong’s independence has been eroded.


Hongkongners Should Show People in Mainland China the Direction to Take

It is said that the Chinese authorities are now increasing pressure on Hong Kong to enact anti-subversion legislation under which anyone who demands greater autonomy for Hong Kong is found guilty. The enactment of the legislation will make it easy for the Chinese government to crack down on politicians and their supporters who oppose Beijing’s tightening control over Hong Kong.

In May of 2011, Master Ryuho Okawa of Happy Science visited Hong Kong to give a lecture. To Hongkongers who was alarmed by the situation, he said as follows:

“You are the one portion of great China, but you are the teacher of great China, and you can teach all China people. And you are the leaders of China people. So if I, if I can put some kind of mission and some kind of, some kind of responsibility on you and you accept that responsibility to enlighten all the people in the China and can show the direction of the future of China. It is the welcome of all the people of all over the world.”
(Excerpt from “The Fact and The Truth Q&A”)

Right now, people in Hong Kong are faced with the choice to keep fighting against China for freedom, or just sitting back and watching China swallow Hong Kong. It is obvious that the former choice is the one Hongkongers should make.

Prison Sentence on Student Leaders of the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution
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