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Hongkong Proteste 16.01.2015
Image: Reuters/T. Siu

Students charged in Hong Kong protests

July 15, 2015

Two students have been charged for obstructing police during pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year. The accused say the allegations against them are weak.

https://p.dw.com/p/1FyeF

Joshua Wong (above, second from right) and Nathan Law were charged at a police station in Hong Kong on Tuesday and later released on bail, according to documents showed to reporters. The two were told to report to the court on Friday.

Wong, the 18-year-old head of student activism group Scholarism, said evidence against him was weak. A video he saw at the police station did not show him obstructing the police, he argued.

Law, 22, secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, said he would discuss with his lawyer before deciding on his next steps.

Fewer than 30 people took part in the June 11, 2014 protest. They carried yellow umbrellas, a symbol of the 2014 movement, and chanted "Political persecution is shameful!" and "Burning the White Paper is not a crime!"

Wong confirmed that demonstrators had burned a copy of a controversial White Paper from China's State Council, which sets limits to Hong Kong's sovereign rights under Beijing.

Beginn von Gesprächen in Hongkong
Nathan Law (third from left) and other student leaders met with government officials last yearImage: AFP/Getty Images/P. Lopez

"Obviously, the police have their own political agenda, which is to crack down on activists like us," Wong said. His lawyer, Michael Vidler, said the delay in arresting Wong was questionable. "It all gives rise to the suspicion that this is persecution rather than proper policing," he told the AFP news agency.

Wong and Law's arrest comes after Hong Kong legislators vetoed a reform package proposed by Beijing last month, which would have allowed the public to vote for the city's leader for the first time in history. However, the city's opposition leaders called it a "fake democracy" because the elections would require candidates to be approved by a loyalist committee.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997. The city is governed according to a "one country, two systems" policy, but the ultimate authority lies with Beijing.

mg/cmk (AFP, Reuters)

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