Hong Kong’s District Court on Monday sentenced four former student leaders of the University of Hong Kong’s student union to two years in prison over incitement to wound with intent, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. The four former student leaders—Kinson Cheung, Chris Todorovski, Charles Kwok and Anthony Yung—pleaded guilty to the charge on September 11.
The students previously passed a motion on July 7, 2021, in a council meeting of the University of Hong Kong’s student union to mourn the death of Leung Kin-fai, who committed suicide after stabbing a police officer on the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong’s Handover from British to Chinese rule. They then withdrew the motion within seven days, after the Hong Kong government and the University of Hong Kong condemned the students for “beautifying blatant violence” and “glorifying violent attacks.”
In sentencing the students to two years in prison, District Court Judge Adriana Noelle Tse Ching held that the students acted in open defiance of the law, glorified violence, and abused their powers as student leaders by employing inciting language in the student union council meeting that was broadcast live on social media platforms. She also said that the motion was premeditated as Cheung had sent an email with the agenda of the meeting beforehand and that the students’ outstanding academic backgrounds did not constitute mitigating factors of their offense.
In addition to Cheung, Todorovski, Kwok and Yung, a student of the Chinese University of Hong Kong was sentenced on September 12 to six months in prison for attempting to commit sedition by obtaining a banner of The Pillar of Shame, which was once displayed in Hong Kong to commemorate the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.