Fund aims to raise HK$4 million for Joshua Wong and his fellow activists jailed in Hong Kong
Imprisoned Activists Support Fund hopes to provide HK$10,000 a month for 16 recently jailed activists
A new independent fund is aiming to raise HK$4 million for the 16 recently jailed Hong Kong activists – including the poster boy for the city’s pro-democracy movement Joshua Wong Chi-fung – and the families they left behind.
The Imprisoned Activists Support Fund, which was set up on Monday, hopes to provide HK$10,000 a month to each jailed activist for them to support their families.
“These activists are fighting for ideals and justice, instead of their personal gain,” Civic Party barrister Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee said. Ng is one of the fund’s four trustees alongside Canto-pop singer, Denise Ho Wan-see, and academics, To Yiu-ming and Hui Po-keung.
“Society has the responsibility [to help] these activists,” Ng said.
The fund will also be used to help settle the activists’ legal fees, cover any expenses accrued as well as help their families with the travelling costs of visiting them in prison.
Last month, the city’s Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of government’s bid to throw three pro-democracy student leaders – Wong, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang – behind bars for six to eight months for their leading role in the run-up to the 2014 Occupy movement. They were earlier given either suspended jailed terms or community service orders.
Critics have slammed it as political persecution as it was the government’s second successful attempt in a week to ask for stiffer sentences for protesters – after the same court sent 13 activists to jail over another protest against a controversial development plan in the New Territories.
More than 60 per cent of the goal has already been raised after a rally in support of the protesters last month brought in HK$2.53 million. Attended by more than 22,000 people, it was one of the biggest protests since the Occupy.
Ng said those who made donations during the march were thinking of the activists so the fund currently had no plans to assist other protesters who might be imprisoned in future.
“We do not want to be too ambitious as we have limited experience [in managing such a fund],” Ng said. “This fund is a golden opportunity to unite society and we do not want to trigger unnecessary suspicions because of carelessness.”
When asked if they would offer help to those regarded as localists, she said: “We will cross the bridge when we come to this.”
Former lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats, also called on citizens not to underestimate the power of making donations.
“Every penny given is offering support to politically suppressed people,” Leung said.