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2020-12-02 HKT 23:08
The government on Wednesday lashed out against international criticism of the jailings of prominent activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, saying calls for their release are ‘absurd’.
The trio were jailed for 13.5, 10 and 7 months respectively earlier in the day, after pleading guilty to charges related to a rowdy protest last June that left police officers trapped in their Wan Chai headquarters for hours.
Some foreign politicians condemned the court decision.
"As three Hong Kong activists begin prison sentences, I urge the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to end their campaign to stifle opposition," British foreign secretary Dominic Raab wrote on Twitter.
Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten issued a statement saying "The imprisonment today of Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow - all of them campaigners for the rule of law and democracy in Hong Kong - is another grim example of China's determination to put Hong Kong in handcuffs.”
But a government spokesman responded with its own statement, saying “Those who absurdly demanded for their immediate release not only disrespect our judicial system but also manifest their blatant denial of the fact that the defendants themselves pleaded guilty.”
He said the government is committed to upholding the rule of law.
“It is unbecoming and irrational for people making sweeping attacks and baseless accusations against our judicial and legal systems without reference to the fact and circumstances of the case,” he added.
“Such statements, if made with a view to exert undue influence on our judicial and legal systems will be futile.”