A January of discontent: Hong Kong’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists gathers pace

Kong Tsung-gan, HKFP

The unprecedented Hong Kong government crackdown on the pro-democracy movement continues apace, and this month is set to be its busiest yet. Below is an overview of January court dates in government prosecutions of pro-democracy leaders and activists: four trials definitely, six trials probably, and 55 defendants.

Since the 2014 Umbrella Movement, the Hong Kong government, under the influence if not direction of the Communist Party, has carried out a wide-ranging and unprecedented attack on the pro-democracy movement.

This attack has taken several forms, including the suddenly imposed requirement of new loyalty pledges by candidates for public office, the Electoral Affairs Commission’s arbitrary disqualification of potential candidates on political grounds, the denial of public space – including venues for demonstrations and New Year’s market stalls – on spurious grounds of “public safety”, and the refusal to register political groups such as Demosistō. Continue reading “A January of discontent: Hong Kong’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists gathers pace”

Join Sunday’s democracy march in Hong Kong

Kris Cheng, Hong Kong Free Press

This article was first published on HKFP under the headline: Pro-democracy activists urge Hongkongers to join ‘final’ protest on Sunday with ‘political prisoners’

Pro-democracy activists have urged the public to march on Sunday against the “authoritarian” regime. They say it may be the last opportunity before several activists are possibly jailed.

Demosisto’s Joshua Wong, who was released on bail from prison last month, said the city’s jailed activists had missed opportunities to march with supporters in August and October. He said it was likely that he would be jailed alongside Lester Shum, Raphael Wong and others. All are defendants in a case relating to the clearance of the Mong Kok Occupy protest camp in 2014. Sentences for the case – which is separate to Wong’s other Occupy-related conviction – will be handed down next Thursday. Continue reading “Join Sunday’s democracy march in Hong Kong”