Hong Kong Activist Joshua Wong Sentence Extended to 17.5 Months Imprisonment

April 14, 2021 Updated: April 14, 2021

A jailed Hong Kong activist was sentenced to another four months in jail on April 13 for participating in an unauthorized anti-extradition law assembly in 2019, while also breaching the “Prohibition On Face Covering Regulation.”

The total sentence of Joshua Wong, a 24-year-old pro-democracy leader, has been extended to 17 and a half months.

Masks, an unofficial symbol of the anti-extradition movement that flared up in early June 2019, were used to protect the identities of protesting Hongkongers against political retaliation and ostracism.

But four months later, a controversial anti-mask law was put in place by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, which would result in protesters being found guilty of covering up their face in an unlawful assembly or public gathering of more than 50 people.

It came after the chief executive invoked the emergency ordinance for the first time in more than 50 years, which empowers her to implement laws and regulations, bypassing the Legislative Council.

Justices later ruled the ban as “incompatible with the Basic Law.”

The law came into effect at midnight on Oct. 4, 2019, provoking a public demonstration on Oct. 5.

Wong was convicted for joining the unauthorized rally and wearing a mask. Wong pleaded guilty to both charges.

Another participating social activist, Koo Sze-yiu, 71, was also sentenced on Tuesday by the Hong Kong Eastern Magistrates’ Court to five months imprisonment.

It is the 11th time Koo has been sentenced among his over 30 years of involvement in social and democratic movements, he said in court. He suspects it will not be the last time.

Wong has been jailed in Hong Kong’s Shek Pik Prison since Dec. 2, due to his role in the anti-government protests on June 21, 2019, including “inciting others to take part in the unauthorized assembly.”

During the demonstration, Wong led the protesters in chants as thousands of protesters besieged the police headquarters in Wan Chai district to oppose an extradition bill that would have allowed anyone in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China for trial, without approval from the city’s unicameral legislature.

His sentence was for 13 and a half months.