Officials in Hong Kong find new ways to stop separatists getting elected


On the steps again

THEY have become a familiar sight standing on courtroom steps. Since their pro-democracy protests in 2014, the young leaders of the Umbrella Movement—Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow—have bobbed in and out of court, and sometimes into prison. This week they appeared again, after an appeal overturned controversial custodial sentences handed down last year. But their mood was sombre. “Our hearts are heavy,” said Mr Law. “We walk free but Hong Kong’s democracy has lost a battle.”

In July 2016 the trio was found guilty of breaking into a government compound and of inciting others to follow suit. A magistrate sentenced Mr Wong and Mr Law to community service and Mr Chow to a three-week stint in prison, suspended for a year. The government objected that these punishments were too lenient to deter others. Last year, after a review, the Court of Appeal upped the punishment to between six and eight months in prison and outlined stricter…Continue reading