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Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow denied bail by High Court

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow denied bail by High Court

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Hong Kong, December 9 (ANI): A day after eight Hong Kong legislators were arrested for their involvement in pro-democracy protests across the region, activist Agnes Chow Ting has been denied bail pending her appeal of a 10-month prison sentence for her role in a siege of police headquarters during last year's anti-government protests against the National Security Law.
According to South China Morning Post, Chow applied for bail to Madam Justice Judianna Barnes of the High Court on Wednesday. The activist was jailed by a lower court last Wednesday after she pled guilty to charges of incitement and taking part in an unauthorised assembly, alongside peers Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Ivan Lam Long-yin.
Magistrate Wong Sze-lai of West Kowloon Court said immediate imprisonment was the only appropriate sentencing option as the case involved a breach of public order.
"The magistrate also observed the trio had planned to incite others to take part, and actively joined the large-scale unauthorised assembly that was held at a time of increasing incidents of social unrest, which made the case more serious. In particular, the magistrate noted that Chow remained on site for 15 hours, repeatedly chanting slogans and helping Joshua Wong," the South China Morning Post reported further.
It further reported that the jail term means that the three former leaders of the group Demosisto would be barred from running any local campaigns for five years unless they manage to reduce the sentences.
This comes after a number of former pro-democracy lawmakers were arrested in the month of October over protests after the draconian national security law was imposed on the city by Beijing. The law criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces and carries with it strict prison terms. It came into effect from July 1.
Several of those disqualified were sitting lawmakers, who were subsequently ejected from the parliament by Beijing overruling constitutional precedent and bypassing Hong Kong's courts on November 11, sparking the mass resignation of the entire pro-democratic camp.
Several countries have criticised China, with the European Council saying the move to disqualify opposition lawmakers constituted a "further severe blow" to freedom of opinion in the city and "significantly undermines Hong Kong's autonomy." (ANI)

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