An independent fund has been launched to provide financial support to 16 pro-democracy activists who were jailed last month.
Civic Party barrister Margaret Ng Hoi-yee, one of the initiators of the the Imprisoned Activists Support Fund, said the goal is to raise HK$4 million, including HK$2.53 million donated by demonstrators who took to the streets on Aug. 20, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Ng, along with Canto-pop singer, Denise Ho Wan-see and academics To Yiu-ming and Hui Po-keung, are the fund’s trustees.
The money will be used to give each of the activists HK$10,000 a month to cover their litigation fees and expenses, including purchases of daily necessities and transport by their families who come to visit them, Ng told a press conference on Monday. The fund has begun accepting donations.
On Aug. 17, the Court of Appeal sentenced three former student leaders－Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow — to six to eight months in prison for their part in the 2014 democracy protests.
That came after 13 young activists were sentenced to jail in connection with a protest over the development of northeast New Territories in 2014.
All of them had been spared jail by a lower court but the appellate court overturned the sentences after the Department of Justice applied for judicial reviews, insisting their punishment was not enough.
Ng said the fund will suspend donations once it reaches its goal, adding that, for now, there is no plan to stage a march to raise money.
The fund will limit its use to the 16 jailed individuals, Ng said.
They will consider whether other activists hold the same values as them, whether they are receiving assistance from other groups, and whether they urgently need financial support, if the fund is used to support other activists in the future, she said.
Ng said the jailed activists were fighting for ideals and justice rather than for personal gain and therefore society has a responsibility to help them, Apple Daily reported.
To said although he is not acquainted or close to the jailed activists, he believes raising money for them is the right thing to do because they sacrificed their freedom for society.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal has yet to release its written judgment, according to HKEJ.
A source in the legal sector said the situation has put them in a dilemma because they cannot take their cases to the Court of Final Appeal while the appellants languish in jail.
It has been three weeks since the ruling, almost reaching the 28-day deadline for lodging an appeal, the source said.
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