Hong Kong’s 66-year-old activist ‘Grandma Wong’ jailed for 8 months over 2019 protests
13 July 2022
An elderly woman who became a fixture of Hong Kong’s democracy protests was jailed on Wednesday for unlawful assembly, a day after courts imprisoned a terminally ill 75-year-old activist.
Alexandra Wong, 66, popularly known as “Grandma Wong”, was a regular presence at the protests three years ago, usually waving a British Union Jack flag.
Prosecutors accused her of participating in two unlawful assemblies on August 11, 2019 and shouting “offensive words”, adding that her flag-waving and slogans encouraged an illegal gathering.
Principal Magistrate Adam Yim jailed Wong for eight months citing the “scale and disruption to social order” of the democracy protests.
Unlawful assembly is one of the primary charges used by prosecutors against participants of the huge and sometimes violent democracy rallies that convulsed Hong Kong for months in 2019.
More than 2,800 people have been prosecuted for protest related offences, while a security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 has effectively now criminalised dissent in Hong Kong.
Wong earlier this year pleaded not guilty but she switched her plea on Wednesday, the first day of her trial.
From the dock, the bespectacled and grey-haired Wong struck a defiant note and criticised Hong Kong’s government as an “authoritarian regime.”
She also reiterated an earlier claim that she had been interrogated and detained by security agents in the Chinese mainland for nearly 14 months and was forced to give written and filmed confessions.