Hong Kong court finds 9 Umbrella Movement protesters guilty
A controversial verdict by a Hong Kong court has found nine prominent protesters in the "Umbrella Movement" guilty of public nuisance.
HONG KONG — A Hong Kong Court has convicted nine prominent protesters over their role in the "Umbrella Movement" in 2014, The South China Morning Post reports.
The democracy activists were charged with public nuisance and could face up to seven years in prison, The New York Times reports.
The Umbrella Movement was a 79-day long democracy protest lasting from September to mid-December in 2014 against Hong Kong authorities and the Chinese government.
Protestesters used yellow umbrellas during the movement and rallied against China's influence in the city.
This was because the Chinese Communist Party decided to vet all potential leadership candidates in Hong Kong elections. As a result, thousands of activists occupied Hong Kong Central in protest.
The New York Times reports the democracy activists were charged with public nuisance and could face up to seven years in prison.
According to the South China Morning Post, Judge Johnny Chan said on the founders of the movement professors Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man and Pastor Chu Yiu-ming were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to create public nuisance.
Judge Chan said the protesters had created a public nuisance by blocking roads and causing obstructions throughout the city.
The two professors were also charged with instigating others to commit public nuisance.
The BBC quotes Tai as telling reporters that "No matter what happens today… we will persist on and … not give up."
Hong Kong Legislators Tanya Chan, Shiu Ka-chun along with student leaders of the movement Tommy Cheung, Eason Chung and Former Hong Kong Democratic Party lawmakers Lee Wing-tat were all convicted of one count of inciting others and one count of inciting protests themselves.
In a statement by Chris Patten which was cited by the New York Times, the last governor of Hong Kong's colonial era, said the verdict was "appallingly divisive" and called it "vengeful."
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