Activists keep flame alive

Top News | Cindy Wan Apr 25, 2019
<p>Several hundred Occupy supporters lit 1,000 candles outside the Lai Chi Kok reception center last night in support of their leaders being held overnight there.</p><p>They sang songs penned in the hey days of the Umbrella movement occupation in 2014 to show their support.</p><p>Among them were convicted leader Chu Yiu-ming, who was given a suspended sentence, convener of Civil Human Rights Front Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, former lawmaker &quot;Long Hair&quot; Leung Kwok-hung, and Labour Party veteran Lee Cheuk-yan.</p><p>Earlier in the afternoon, pan-democrats issued a joint statement saying they found the sentences saddening.</p><p>Camp convener Claudia Mo Man-ching burst into tears as she called prosecution of the nine Occupy leaders &quot;political oppression.&quot;</p><p>&quot;This regime attempts to use judicial procedures to silence the opposition in Hong Kong,&quot; she said, calling it white terror.</p><p>The pro-democracy camp, she said, refused to be disheartened, and will continue to stay positive.</p><p>&quot;The Umbrella nine&#39;s contribution to our democracy movement will be forever remembered and gloriously written in our history,&quot; she said.</p><p>Mo also promised the camp will try its best to fight against the extradition law amendment, which could lead to the handing over of political activists to Beijing.</p><p>Education-sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yeun said the movement was sparked by failure of political reform, which was spearheaded by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor when she was serving as chief secretary back in 2014.</p><p>He asked Lam to apologize for her failure and its consequences.</p><p>The sentencing also sparked concerns from other countries.</p><p>The US consulate-general said such prosecutions can stifle the exercise of the basic freedoms guaranteed in the Basic Law. The British consulate-general stressed that freedom of speech and assembly are both guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.</p><p>&quot;It is important that these, and all other rights and freedoms which are guaranteed under the joint declaration, are fully respected,&quot; a spokesman said. &quot;It would be deeply concerning if the outcome for these individuals were to deter the people of Hong Kong from participating in peaceful protest in the future.&quot;</p><p>Taiwan&#39;s Mainland Affairs Council said it &quot;deeply regretted&quot; the ruling, adding it showed one country, two systems has failed.</p><p>Beijing, it said, claimed it will safeguard the mechanism, but on the other hand, it oppresses Hong Kong&#39;s human rights and autonomy.</p><p>The people of Taiwan will not be deceived by the lies, it added.</p><p>Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in Beijing that issues concerning Hong Kong are the country&#39;s internal affair, and that China opposes foreign intervention.</p>

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May 2019