Wong makes court return on birthday
HONG KONG: Jailed Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong marked his 21st yesterday in court facing more charges over his role in pro-democracy protests as his parents say they are standing by him.
Mr Wong and two other student leaders were jailed in August for six to eight months for their roles in the initial protest that sparked the months-long Umbrella Movement demonstrations and street blockades in 2014, convictions rights groups have called politically motivated.
His father Roger Wong said he was surprised by the jail term and shocked by the reaction of Hong Kong’s legal community, with two powerful organisations releasing statements defending the judicial system and judges.
“The elites in law were congratulating each other. I find that disgusting,” he said.
“I thought the statements would come with comprehensive legal analysis, but there was none of that … just brown-nosing,” he added.
Mr Wong senior, a retired IT professional, and his wife have been visiting their son in prison, and say he is putting on a brave face.
“If I was in his position, in front of my parents, I would say positive things too and not want them to worry,” the 53-year-old said at the family’s compact apartment filled with photos, books and bible references.
“I think the biggest pain for him is not being able to go on the internet,” he said.
Unlike most middle-class parents in education-obsessed Hong Kong, the elder Wong said he was open-minded about his son’s studies and future path — they always knew he was politically minded.
When he was small, “he would have a bottle in his mouth but still continue to speak.
“Of course, we didn’t know what he was saying … [but] he always enjoyed expressing himself.
“His academic record would not be good enough for Oxford or Cambridge, but they have invited him over as a speaker — it’s just a different role,” he said.
Roger Wong said he would support his son if he ran for office, which he is barred from doing for five years.