April 24, 2019 / 3:47 AM / 25 days ago

Hong Kong pro-democracy 'Occupy' activists jailed for role in mass protests

(L-R) Pro-democracy activists Chan Kin-man, Benny Tai and Chu Yiu-ming arrive at the court for sentencing on their involvement in the Occupy Central, also known as "Umbrella Movement", in Hong Kong, China April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Hong Kong court on Wednesday jailed key leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy “Occupy” movement in a move that highlights political divisions nearly five years after protests rocked the China-ruled city.

The sentences came after nine leaders of the Occupy movement were found guilty of public nuisance during the protest in a trial that critics said underscored the decline of political freedoms in the former British colony.

Law professor Benny Tai, 54, and retired sociologist Chan Kin-man, 60, were each jailed for 16 months for conspiracy to commit public nuisance. Retired pastor Chu Yiu-ming, 75, received a suspended sentence.

The trio were found guilty of conspiracy to commit public nuisance over their leading role in planning and mobilizing supporters during the 79-day protest. They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reporting By James Pomfret and Jessie Pang; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Michael Perry

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