Hong Kong protesters back for pre-trial hearing

Hong Kong, Oct 30 (IANS) Three ‘Hong Kong Occupy’ student leaders were back in court on Friday for a pre-trial hearing.

The student leaders are being charged for offences that took place just a day or two before the ‘Occupy Central’ protests got into full swing at the central government offices in Admiralty last year, Channel News Asia reported.

Scholarism’s Joshua Wong, 18, faces two charges – taking part in an unlawful assembly and inciting others to do so on September 26 and 27, 2014. As he is under 21 years of age, Wong would more likely be required to perform community service or go to a youth correction centre, if found guilty.

Former secretary general of the Federation of Students, Alex Chow faces one count of taking part in the unlawful assembly on both days, while his successor, Nathan Law, faces one charge of inciting others to take part.

They could face a maximum of two years in prison. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The protests outside the government headquarters last September was a response by democracy activists to Beijing’s conservative framework for universal suffrage for the city.

The electoral reform bill was later voted down by pan-democratic legislators in parliament.

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