Hong Kong protesters charged with rioting

A Hong Kong court on July 31┬ácharged 44 protesters with rioting┬áover their involvement in street protests over the weekend. The peaceful sit-in at a park outside Beijing’s┬áLiaison Office┬áJuly 28 turned into running battles between black-clad demonstrators and police,┬áwith security forces using tear-gas and rubber bullets.┬áThe 44┬áare the first demonstrators to be charged since protests over the extradition bill began in June. The defendants were released on bail. Most were ordered to remain in Hong Kong, except a pilot who is able to leave when working;┬áand had a midnight to 6 AM curfew imposed on them, except for a children’s home worker. Hong Kong’s anti-riot law defines rioting as an unlawful assembly of three or more people where any person commits a breach of the peace. If convicted under this law, the sentence can be up to 10 years in prison. This heavy sentence has sparked outrage, and protesters demonstrated at the courthouse where the 44 defendants were charged. While the protests initially began in June to demonstrate against the extradition bill, they have since developed into a call for wider democratic reform.

Ffrom Jurist, Aug. 1. Used with permission.

Photo: Studio Incendo, WikiMedia via Jurist