Hundreds of black clad pro-democracy demonstrators on Wednesday gathered outside Hong Kong’s High Court as a leading activist Edward Leung appeared to appeal a six-year jail sentence for rioting in 2016.
The demonstrators chanted “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times’’ outside the court house.
The demonstrators also scrawled with graffiti on the walls of the court reading: “History will absolve us’’, “If we burn you burn with us and “No turn back 4HK’’.
The Asian financial hub is struggling to recover from a violent clash between police and thousands of protesters, with parts of the city virtually cut off due to a paralyzed metro that was a target of vandalism.
Scores of shops were boarded up after also being trashed or torched, and more protests are expected in coming days.
Some streets were littered with broken glass and twisted metal debris from the protests.
The protests started in July in opposition to a now withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed suspects to be sent to China.
It has however broadened into a pro-democracy movement amid fear that Beijing is undermining Hong Kong’s one country, two systems formula, which gives residents greater freedom than mainland Chinese.
The unrest is the worst political crisis since Britain handed the city back to China in 1997 and the biggest challenge to President Xi Jinping since he came into power in 2012.
Edward Leung, 27, one of the leaders of a movement advocating independence from China, and two other activists, in 2016 received the harshest sentences handed down to pro-democracy leaders since the city returned to Chinese rule.
In his appeal, Leung’s lawyer argued his sentence was disproportionate to his offence, citing other more violent protesters receiving lighter sentences.
His case was adjourned on Wednesday ahead of judgment.
Outside the court hundreds of protesters wore black masks in defiance of colonial-era emergency laws banning face coverings, which were brought in on Friday to quell the unrest but which have incited more violent protests. (Reuters/NAN)
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed/Felix Ajide