Occupy Central

Support and tears for Hong Kong democracy activists jailed over government HQ protest that led to Occupy movement

Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow draw more than 100 supporters to court as they hear verdicts that threaten to derail their political careers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 8:33am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 August, 2017, 8:33am

The ground-floor lobby of Hong Kong’s High Court was for the first time “occupied” by pro-democracy supporters on Thursday as the judges handed down their ruling that three student leaders who spearheaded the city’s Occupy movement in 2014 should serve time in prison.

More than 100 supporters flocked to the court to show support or bid farewell to Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, who were sentenced to between six and eight months in jail for their actions in the run-up to the 79-day Occupy sit-ins.

Political careers halted for jailed Hong Kong student leaders

The trio greeted their supporters one by one ahead of the court ruling, hugging each other tearfully.

The parents of Chow, who had remained low-profile over the years, spoke for the first time before the cameras to voice support for their son, who was to spend his 27th birthday in jail on Friday.

“We are very heartbroken but I have told Alex that ... we will fully support [him],” the elder Chow said. “We are proud of what he has done, which is for the sake of Hongkongers and the [city’s] future.”

Stopping short of commenting on the sentence, he said the deterrent ruling might have the opposite effect.

But his mother, who was initially able to control her emotions, burst into tears after the judge announced that her son would go to jail for seven months. Her husband, along with former lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan, escorted her out of the court.

Veteran activist “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung said pan-democrats would set up a group in the near future to support the families of the trio and other recently jailed activists both emotionally and financially.