Prominent youth activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung were granted bail on Tuesday pending an appeal over their jail terms for unlawful assembly linked to the pro-democracy protests in 2014.
The appeals court jailed Wong, 21, Law, 24 and Alex Chow Yong-kang, 27, in August. Their sentencing came as a blow to the youth-led push for universal suffrage and prompted accusations of political interference.
The trio helped lead the largely peaceful “Occupy Movement” that blocked major roads for 79 days in 2014, demanding Beijing grant Hong Kong full democracy.
Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li, who heads the Court of Final Appeal, granted Wong and Law bail of HK$50,000 each while they appeal against their respective six-month and eight-month jail terms, Reuters reports.
“There’s no flight risk,” Ma told the court.
Chow did not apply for bail.
Ma said a Court of Final Appeal hearing will be held on Nov. 7 to consider the trio’s applications for appeal.
The next legal steps are likely to be scrutinized closely, with the jailings having shaken confidence in Hong Kong’s vaunted rule of law.
Wong, Chow and Law were sentenced last year to community service for unlawful assembly.
However, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung had overruled other senior colleagues to reopen the case and push for a harsher sentence that eventually led to their imprisonment, the news agency said.
A group of senior international lawyers recently issued a joint letter saying the jailings posed a serious threat to the city’s rule of law.
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