Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong jailed for contempt

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He was handed a three-month prison sentence.

Protesters were also given several warnings to leave the site by bailiffs before the operation began, calling their continued presence there "a serious interference with the administration of justice".

"Although Mr Wong stayed in the area for just 1.5 hours, his involvement. was deep and extensive", Judge Chan said in a statement reported by...

Both the activists were sent to prison in spite of pleas from the activists' defense attorneys to delay the start of their sentences.

Fourteen other defendants including leading activist Lester Shum were given suspended sentences on contempt charges.

"A few months' jail term has a limited impact on these secessionists, and the judge also can't prevent more youths from following these activists", he said.

"They can lock up our bodies but they can't lock up our minds", he said outside the court. He later tweeted that: "We will vote in prison in the March by-election".

"They have a courage and integrity that is truly inspiring", Rogers says.

Benedict Rogers, founder and chair of the United Kingdom -based rights group Hong Kong Watch, tells TIME he was "surprised and shocked" by the ruling, but that it will be unlikely to derail Wong and his peers in their pursuit of universal suffrage and democratic norms in Hong Kong.

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"The Umbrella Movement achieved that aim, and now the decisions about the legal price we have to pay are out of our hands", Shum said.

"We are very disappointed with the ruling", Law said after the court denied bail to the Wongs.

He criticized the government, accusing it of using courts to solve political problems.

"That the government got the courts involved without resolving the systemic political issues that we now face will be of no help at at all", he said.

The "Umbrella Movement" brought parts of Hong Kong to a standstill for more than two months, as tens of thousands of mostly student activists called on Beijing to allow fully free elections of future leaders in the semiautonomous Chinese city.

Chan said Raphael Wong wished to tell everyone that he was grateful for their support and that he will continue to read biographies, dictionaries and the Bible.

They were all sentenced to terms ranging from one month to four and a half months, with some fined HK$10,000 or HK$15,000, the court ordered.

Wong Ching-tak, the current union president, said the union's role in social movements and the threat of arrest had put off many applicants, stating that "not everyone is willing to stand at the front".