A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for taking part in the anti-extradition protest outside the Legislative Council on June 12.
The defendant, a 22-year-old lifeguard surnamed Sin, had previously pleaded guilty to rioting at the District Court. He is the first person who has pleaded guilty to the charge in connection with last year’s protests.
The court previously heard how Sin rammed police barricades and threw objects at police officers during the protest. Sin, who pleaded guilty to one count of rioting, has denied two counts of resisting arrest in relation to the protest.
During sentencing at the District Court today, judge Amanda Woodcock acknowledged that Sin was a young first-time offender, but said that a deterrent sentence was necessary as he had committed a “direct attack the rule of law”.
Thousands of people gathered outside the Legislative Council complex on June 12 to protest the controversial Fugitive Offenders Bill, which was due to have its second reading that day. The protest, which was later characterized by the government as a riot, was a watershed moment for the protest movement and marked the beginning of last year’s long-running political unrest.
Since then, one of the rallying cries for the anti-government protest movement has been “Five demands, not one less”, with the recharacterization of the events on June 12 as a protest being one of them.
Yesterday, the Hong Kong police force officially announced that it had charged 14 more people with rioting in relation to the siege of PolyU. The suspects, aged 16 to 61, were picked up by police officers yesterday. They are due to appear in court on Monday.
Another 14 protesters will appear in court on June 16 over rioting and weapons charges in connection with a protest outside Sham Shui Po police station on August 29. Acting superintendent Lau Ka-chun of the West Kowloon Police Headquarters Regional Crime Unit said the protesters were arrested for throwing bricks at officers and shining laser pointers in their eyes.
Since last year, protesters have been charged with possessing “offensive weapons” over their use of laser pointers.