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Hong Kong rights must be fully respected, says UK

2019-04-25 HKT 17:40
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  • Hong Kong rights must be fully respected, says UK
    Hong Kong rights must be fully respected, says UK
Free speech and assembly rights in Hong Kong must be "fully respected", Britain said on Thursday, a day after four leaders of the SAR's democracy movement were jailed for organising the Occupy protests in 2014.

"It would be deeply concerning if the outcome for these individuals were to deter the people of Hong Kong from participating in peaceful protest in the future," a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said.

"Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are both guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and it is important that these... are fully respected."

On Wednesday, the US Consulate in Hong Kong said it was concerned that the decision to prosecute nine Occupy figures could "stifle the exercise of the basic freedoms enshrined in the Basic Law".

Occupy co-founders Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man were jailed for 16 months on public nuisance charges, while legislator Shiu Ka-chun and League of Social Democrats activist Raphael Wong were given 8 months in prison.

Four of the other nine were given non-custodial punishments, while legislator Tanya Chan is to learn of her fate at a later date after telling the court she had just been diagnosed with a brain tumour. (Additional reporting by AFP)