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Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow denied bail after landmark sentencing

Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow denied bail after landmark sentencing

FILE PHOTO: Pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow arrives at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts to face charges related to illegal assembly stemming from 2019, in Hong Kong, on Nov 23, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow was denied bail on Wednesday (Dec 9) pending an appeal against her 10-month jail sentence on charges related to unauthorised assembly during anti-government protests last year.

The 24-year old activist was jailed on Dec 2 along with Joshua Wong for their roles in an unlawful rally near police headquarters in 2019, the toughest and most high-profile sentencing of opposition figures this year.

Chow's hearing came after around 16 activists were arrested since Monday, part of a relentless crackdown on opposition forces in the Chinese-ruled city.

READ: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong jailed for 13 and a half months for 2019 anti-government protest

Critics say Hong Kong's Beijing-backed government is curtailing opposition and wide-ranging freedoms guaranteed after the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, a charge authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong reject.

Chow, along with Wong and Nathan Law, founded the now-disbanded democracy group Demosisto in 2016. The party was dissolved hours after Beijing passed a contentious national security law for the city on Jun 30 amid fears it could be targeted under the legislation.

READ: Timeline: The impact of the national security law on Hong Kong

READ: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong detained for illegal assembly

Chow was also arrested in August under the new security legislation on suspicion of “colluding with foreign forces”, but is yet to face any charges.

Under the national security law, Beijing punishes what it broadly defines as sedition, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in jail.

Source: Reuters/ga

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