Hong Kong protest leaders cleared of obstruction charges

Hong Kong, June 7 (IANS) A Hong Kong court on Tuesday acquitted Joshua Wong and Nathan Law of charges of obstructing the police during pro-democracy protests in 2014.

Wong and Law were accused of preventing police officers from performing their duty in an alleged incident during a protest on June 11, 2014, around three months before the start of the so-called “Umbrella Revolution”.

According to the prosecution, the two burned a copy of a report by the Chinese government on relations with Hong Kong, issued earlier that month, EFE news reported.

Wang, 19, and Law, 22, set fire to the document — which stressed Beijing’s control on the administrative region and rejected its autonomy — and prevented the police officers from putting out the fire, according to the prosecution.

The court cleared the democracy activists of the charges, along with two other activists, who had also been accused, but urged all of them to reflect on their actions.

Supporters of the student leaders hailed the ruling, which ended one of the cases against Wong and other leaders of the mass protests.

Towards the end of the month, another court will decide if Wong is guilty of charges of illegal assembly, and inciting others to do so through his participation in the protests that went on for more than two months.

–IANS

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