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Lester Shum being arrested during the police clearance of the Mong Kok occupation, one of the three main occupation sites of the Umbrella Movement, on 26 November 2014, Hong Kong. Lester was convicted of contempt of court and as of early January 2017 is awaiting sentencing.

The unprecedented Hong Kong government crackdown on the pro-democracy movement continues apace, and January is set to be its busiest month yet

An overview of January court dates in Hong Kong government prosecutions of pro-democracy leaders and activists: four trials definitely, six trials probably, 56 defendants

LAST UPDATED on 29 May 2018 (Updates on the individual cases appear at the end of the case descriptions below.) This article will no longer be updated. For the most up-to-date information on cases mentioned here, go to here.

Overview of January legal cases

Most of these trials span many months from the time of the initial hearing to their conclusion, some even years, especially those including appeals. Some of the defendants, such as the Umbrella Movement 9, were charged years after their alleged crimes were committed. All of the trials cost the defendants significant time and money. The government strategy is that, if it cannot get convictions, at least it can keep the defendants pinned down in defending themselves for lengthy periods of time instead of doing what they would otherwise be doing, fighting for justice.

Thursday, January 4

Start of the trial proper of Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching along with three of their assistants, Yeung Lai-hong, Chung Suet-ying, and Cheung Tsz-lung, all of Youngspiration, for unlawful assembly, with an alternative charge of forcible entry

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Baggio Leung, right, and Yau Wai-ching, middle, in a crush of bodies outside of a Legco meeting room on 2 November 2016. Leung and Wai-ching are on trial, along with three assistants, for unlawful assembly (alternative charge: forcible entry). (photo: Stanley Leung)

Tuesday, January 9

Beginning of four days of pre-trial hearings in the case of the “Umbrella Movement 9”, Chu Yiu-ming, Chan Kin-man, and Benny Tai (all of Occupy Central with Love and Peace), Lee Wing-tat (Democratic Party), Shiu Ka-chun (Legco member representing the Social Welfare functional constituency), Tanya Chan (Legco member from Civic Party), Raphael Wong (League of Social Democrats), and Tommy Cheung and Eason Chung (both of Hong Kong Federation of Students), all charged with various counts of “conspiracy to incite public nuisance” and “inciting public nuisance” in relation to the start of the Umbrella Movement on 28 September 2014.

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The Umbrella Movement 9, arrested 27 March 2017 on ‘inciting public nuisance’ charges; from left to right: Chu Yiu-ming, Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai, Lee Wing-tat, Shiu Ka-chun, Tanya Chan, Raphael Wong, Tommy Cheung, Eason Chung

Monday, January 15

Pre-trial review in prosecution of Leung Kwok-hung/Long Hair for contempt of the Legislative Council

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Leung Kwok-hung/Long Hair outside West Kowloon Law Court on the first day of the pre-trial review in his prosecution for contempt of the Legislative Council, 15 January 2018

Tuesday, January 16

Appeal hearing of Joshua Wong (Demosistō), Nathan Law (Demosistō), and Alex Chow at the Court of Final Appeal over their sentencing to six, eight and seven months in prison respectively

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Hong Kong Umbrella Movement leaders Lester Shum, Alex Chow, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law about to enter the High Court on 17 August 2017, where the latter three will be sentenced to prison for unlawful assembly and inciting unlawful assembly in the occupation of Civic Square on 26 September 2014, which triggered the Umbrella Movement two days later (photo: Tyrone Siu)

Wednesday, January 17

Sentencing hearing for 16 demonstrators found liable for contempt of court in relation to the 26 November 2014 police clearance of the Mong Kok occupation during the Umbrella Movement: Joshua Wong, Lester Shum and Raphael Wong will be sentenced along with Chau Wan-ying, Chu Wai-lun, Chu Pui-yan, Kwok Yeung-yuk, Chiu Chi-sum, Chan Po-ying, Cheung Kai-hong, Kwan Siu-wang, Hung Cheuk-lun, Fung Kai-hei, Choi Tat-shing, Jason Szeto Tse-long, and Mak Ying-sheung.

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Hong Kong police arrest Joshua Wong at clearance of Mong Kok, Umbrella Movement, 26 November 2014. Moments later, Raphael Wong (r, in Gandhi t-shirt) was arrested, followed by Lester Shum and 17 others. All 20 were prosecuted and found liable for contempt of court.
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Joshua Wong after his release on bail pending appeal on 23 January 2018: “I am not in a good mood at all because today I arrived (here) with Raphael but I‘m the only one going out. Perhaps I will go back to prison again to serve the prison sentence. But it will not erode our determination, courage in the future. (We will) continue to fight for democracy.” (photo: Bobby Yip)
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Six of the thirteen imprisoned for eight to 13 months for unlawful assembly in connection with June 2014 protests outside Legco, Hong Kong. From left: David Chu Wai-chung, Sunny Leung Hiu-yeung, Willis Ho Kit-wang, Raphael Wong Ho-ming, Lau Kwok-leung (photo: Nora Tam)

Monday, January 29

Start of trial of Dickson Chau Ka-faat (League of Social Democrats, obstructing and assaulting police officer), Avery Ng (LSD, two counts of inciting disorderly conduct), Devon Cheng Pui-lun (former Lingnan University Student Union president, unlawful assembly), Derek Lam (former core member of Demosistō, inciting disorderly conduct), Ivan Lam (core member of Demosistō, serving 13 months in prison for unlawful assembly, on bail pending appeal, charged with unlawful assembly in this case), Chau Man-wai (LSD, two counts of unlawful assembly), Sammy Ip (unlawful assembly, obstructing police officer), Lo Tak-cheong (unlawful assembly) for various offenses related to the 6 November 2016 protest against the NPCSC Basic Law interpretation on oath-taking which lead to the disqualification of 6 elected pro-democracy Legco members.

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The nine arrested on various charges in connection with the protest against the NPCSC Basic Law interpretation outside of the Liaison Office on 6 November 2017, Hong Kong. From left to right: Lo Tak-cheong, Dickson Chau Ka-faat, Chow Shu-wing, Avery Ng, Derek Lam, Ivan Lam, Chau Man-wai, Sammy Ip, Devon Cheng Pui-lun

The Mong Kok 15

On March 16, pre-trial review began for 15 demonstrators charged with contempt of court over the November 26, 2014 police clearance of the Mong Kok occupation during the Umbrella Movement. This is the second large batch of defendants charged with the same crime for the same event, the other being the Mong Kok 20, which included the high-profile pro-democracy leaders Joshua Wong, Raphael Wong and Nathan Law. This batch includes ordinary activists and citizens. Another pre-trial review hearing was held on April 9. An arrest warrant was issued for Lou Tit-man, who failed to appear at pre-trial review. Seven have announced their intention to plead guilty: Chan Wai-fung, Chu Sui-ying, Wong Ka-yee, Kong Kam-to, Chan Ao-tien, Chan Wing-wah and Leung Hon-lam. The remaining seven are Siew Yun-long, Man For-on, Lai Yu-sing, Law Wai-yan, Jeffrey Chan, Yung Yiu-sing, and Chan Pak-tao. One, Man For-on, is applying for legal aid and will have another pre-trial review hearing on April 30. The trial proper is scheduled to begin on May 15.

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Written by

Author of ‘Umbrella: A Political Tale from Hong Kong’ and ‘As long as there is resistance, there is hope: Essays on the Hong Kong freedom struggle…’

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