Washington [US], December 4 (ANI): The United States has condemned the sentence pronounced on Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and said that the "use of courts to silence peaceful dissent is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes".
"The United States is appalled by the Hong Kong government's political persecution of Hong Kong's courageous pro-democracy advocates. The use of courts to silence peaceful dissent is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes and underscores once again that the Chinese Communist Party's greatest fear is the free speech and free thinking of its own people," said Michael Pompeo, US State Secretary.
He further said that Hong Kong historically benefitted from a free and open system that celebrated the peaceful advocacy of citizens like Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam, and Jimmy Lai. "Hong Kong's people should be free to exercise the rights guaranteed to them under the Basic Law; the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their struggle to resist the CCP's denial of their fundamental rights will stand throughout history as a testament to the human spirit."
Reiterating the US support to Hong Kong's pro-democracy activists, he said, "The United States will continue to work with our allies and partners around the world to champion the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and all those who suffer under the CCP's repressive rule. We stand with Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam, Jimmy Lai, the people of Hong Kong, and all the people of China."
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong on Wednesday was sentenced to more than 13 months of prison after pleading guilty to charges related to a pro-democracy protest last year over a proposed extradition bill with China.
Apart from Wong, other activists who have been jailed are Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam. Wong received 13.5 months behind bars, Chow 10 months and Lam 7 months, CNN reported.
While condemning the court ruling, fellow activist Nathan Law called the prison sentence "blatant attack" on the Hong Kong activists, whose wishes are solely bringing democracy to the semi-autonomous region.
"It's devastating to witness three of my former colleagues, Joshua, Agnes, Ivan are jailed. The sentencing is absurd. Retweet if you have the same demands: Immediate release of the trio. Stop prosecuting under National Security Law. Sanction accountable govt officials," Nathan Law tweeted. (ANI)