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Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Leader Joshua Wong May Face Five Years in Jail, Finds Strength in God's Word


Prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and two other pro-democracy leaders, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow were remanded in custody on Nov. 25 after pleading guilty to charges of inciting others to knowingly take part in an illegal assembly and organizing an unlawful assembly, to which the maximum penalty is 5 years. His sentence will be read on Dec. 2. 

Although the incident happened in June last year when protesters surrounded Hong Kong's police headquarters as part of street protests against the extradition bill, charges are now being made under the National Security Law that has become retrospective. 

Beijing has imposed this law on Hong Kong that punishes crimes such as secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces with a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

In a press conference outside the court, before his detention, Wong gave these statements:

"Under the continuing onslaughts against the city's dissents, generations of youths go from protests to prisons. To safeguard liberty for the place that we are born, all of them have made silent but regretless sacrifice. Some of them were tortured, forced into exile, or even took their own lives after chanting protest slogans. That is the reason why, ever since my first release from the prison, I have vowed to draw more public attention to prison justice, in particular those on political prisoners."

"Perhaps the authorities wish me to stay in prison one term after another. But I am persuaded that neither prison bars, nor election ban, nor any other arbitrary powers would stop us from activism. What we are doing now is to explain the value of freedom to the world."

Police have made more than 10,000 protest-related arrests for crimes ranging from rioting to assault and arson since the protests began last year. What concerns Wong the most is the 12 youths who are being held in Beijing for almost 3 months now. They were caught while sailing to Taiwan to seek asylum. They have been charged with disavowing Chinese control over Hong Kong.  

Wong, 24, remains unfazed with the hardships he would have to face in fighting for Hong Kong's democracy.  A devout Christian, he tweeted verses from the Bible where he draws strength. 

"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope," Romans 5:3-4 reads. 

Wong added, "Once sown, seeds will one day sprout. Weary and distraught as some of you might feel, please have each others' backs. Cages may lock up our bodies, but never our unwavering souls. One day our indomitable will return and make us assemble again."

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