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Hong Kong court finds 2014 Umbrella Revolution activists guilty

Hong Kong (China) /Nine prominent activists from the 2014 Hong Kong pro-democracy Umbrella Revolution street protests were convicted Tuesday of public nuisance charges.

The 79-day protests and street occupations took place between September and December, 2014, and saw thousands demonstrate in Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay. It was the largest civil disobedience movement in Hong Kong’s history.

Legal scholar Benny Tai, sociology professor Chan Kin-man, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, lawmakers Tanya Chan and Shiu Ka-chun, former student leaders Tommy Chueng and Eason Chung, activist Raphael Wong, and former lawmaker Lee Wing-tat were all found guilty in West Kowloon Court of at least one public nuisance charge, from conspiracy to cause public nuisance and incitement to commit public nuisance, to incitement to incite public nuisance.

They face sentences of up to seven years in prison for each offense.

“No matter what happens, I am confident that many of us will continue to strive for democracy. We will persist and will not give up,” said Tai in front of a sea of supporters, according to local daily South China Morning Post.

The verdicts send a “terrible message that will likely embolden the government to prosecute more peaceful activists, further chilling free expression in Hong Kong,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement Tuesday.

Amnesty International also condemned the verdicts, saying that they are “a crushing blow for freedom of expression and peaceful protest in Hong Kong.”

On the other hand, Lu Kang, a spokesman for the foreign affairs ministry, said that the Chinese government supported the guilty verdicts because the protests “seriously damaged the prosperity, stability and normal life order” of Hong Kong.

Lu added that what he termed as some people’s “one-sided understanding” that the verdict damaged Hong Kong’s social freedom was “unreasonable and unfounded.”

According to HRW, some 200 demonstrators have been prosecuted so far for their participation in the social movement and dozens have been convicted and sentenced for various charges, including unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, and common assault.

Prosecutor Andrew Bruce argued in November when the trial began, that the accused had committed unreasonable acts and that the almost-three-month-long street protests caused interruptions that affected the rights of other people.

HRW has repeatedly denounced that since the 2014 protests the governments of Hong Kong and China have increasingly clamped down on civil liberties.

An example of the deterioration of freedoms was the Sept. 24 banning of the Hong Kong National Party, which had no parliamentary representation and openly advocated for Hong Kong’s independence from the rest of China.  (April 9th, 2019, EFE/Practica Español)

News related in video (2017):

(Español) Comprehension

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Question 1
It's said in the text that... (En el texto se dice que...)
se anuncia que unos activistas de Hong Kong ingresarán pronto a prisión.
la inocencia de unos activistas es declarada por un tribunal de Hong Kong.
unos activistas fueron declarados culpables por un tribunal de Hong Kong.
Question 2
According to the text, that court... (Según el texto, ese tribunal...)
no los declaró culpables por nada relacionado con la 'Revolución de los Paraguas'.
no los declaró culpables por haber alterado el orden público en Hong Kong.
los acusa de haber conspirado y alterado el orden público.
Question 3
About the 'Umbrella Revolution' it's said... (Sobre la 'Revolución de los Paraguas' se dice que...)
comenzó en la capital de China para exigir mejoras al Gobierno.
tuvo lugar hace un lustro para demandar más avances democráticos.
tuvo lugar hace una década para evitar que hubieran más avances democráticos.
Question 4
It's said in the text that some organizations... (En el texto se dice que varias organizaciones...)
descartan que vaya a empeorar la situación para los activistas en Hong Kong.
no creen posible que el Gobierno vaya a condenar a más activistas.
consideran que con ese veredicto se reducirá la libertad de expresión en Hong Kong.
Question 5
It's said in the video that... (En el vídeo se dice que...)
unos activistas condenados no se arrepienten de sus actos.
comienza un juicio contra unos activistas en Hong Kong.
un tribunal de Hong Kong exculpa a tres activistas.
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