HK protest leader pleads not guilty to criminal charges

HONG KONG: A Hong Kong student protester pleaded not guilty to multiple criminal charges over a demonstration against a pro-Beijing figure, a day after the conviction of an “Umbrella Revolution” leader was blasted by rights activists.

The court cases come amid fears in the city that Beijing is tightening its grip.

Billy Fung, former president of Hong Kong University’s student union, faces charges over a protest at the university in January, where students stormed a council meeting.

Supporters gathered outside the court to support Fung yesterday, a day after teenage protest leader Joshua Wong and two other prominent student activists were convicted for a protest that sparked major pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong, called the “Umbrella Revolution”.

That prosecution was slammed by rights group Amnesty Interna­tional, which said the “vague charges” against Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law “smacked of political payback”. — AFP

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