Demosisto activist Agnes Chow on Thursday expressed hope that the higher courts will put more weight on the motivation of the Occupy movement if the co-founders of the protests do decide to appeal against their convictions.
Speaking a day after four key figures of the 2014 pro-democracy protests were jailed by the District Court, Chow said that she felt the verdicts did not take into account that the movement leaders were not fighting for themselves, but for Hong Kong society.
She said there may be different opinions as to whether the sentences are harsh or not, but she felt a higher court would give more consideration to the reasons why people joined the protests.
Chow said the administration is using the courts as a weapon to suppress the rights of Hong Kong people, and she exhorted the public to stand up against "unjust" moves, such as planned extradition law changes.
But the Demosisto activist told RTHK's Janice Wong that the sentences of the Occupy leaders will have a long-term negative impact on civil society.
Meanwhile, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, one of the co-founders of the Occupy movement who was spared a prison sentence for his role in the 2014 protests, said he and the other two co-founders, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, have not yet made a final decision as to whether to appeal.
Chu said if they do appeals against their convictions, this will not be for their own interests, but for Hong Kong’s freedom of speech.
In response to some unsympathetic comments about lawmaker Tanya Chan's recently diagnosed brain tumour, Chu said sympathy is human nature, and he has no words for anyone who doesn't have this.