Joshua Wong Chi-fung (黃之鋒) was released on 17 June 2019. Joshua Wong was sentenced to two months of prison on May 16, 2019 for his involvement in events on 26 November 2014 in Mong Kok, an area in Hong Kong, where demonstrators opposed the police during the Umbrella revolution.

His release coincided with the ongoing protests against extradition bill. Upon his release, Wong criticized the oppression against protesters by the Hong Kong police, and the extradition draft law as pro-Beijing and called for the Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam to resign.

The Umbrella Movement (雨傘運動) was a political movement that emerged during the Hong Kong democracy protests of 2014. Its name arose from the use of umbrellas as a tool for passive resistance to the Hong Kong Police’s use of pepper spray to disperse the crowd during a 79-day occupation of the city demanding more transparent elections, which was sparked by the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) of 31 August, 2014 that prescribed a selective pre-screening of candidates for the 2017 election of Hong Kong’s chief executive.

Joshua Wong was one of the leaders in the Umbrella Movement.

Joshua Wong was born in British Hong Kong on 13 October 1996, and was diagnosed with dyslexia in early childhood. The son of middle-class couple Grace and Roger Wong, Wong was raised as a Protestant Christian in the Lutheran tradition. His social awareness stems from his father, a retired IT professional, who often took him as a child to visit the underprivileged.

Wong studied at the United Christian College (Kowloon East), a private Christian middle school in Kowloon, and developed organisational and speaking skills through involvement in church groups.

On 29 May 2011, Wong and schoolmate Ivan Lam Long-yin established Scholarism, a student activist group.

In June 2014, Scholarism drafted a plan to reform Hong Kong’s electoral system to push for universal suffrage, under one country, two systems. His group strongly advocated for the inclusion of civic nomination in the 2017 Hong Kong Chief Executive Election. Wong as a student leader started a class boycott among Hong Kong’s students to send a pro-democracy message to Beijing.

In April 2016, Wong founded a new political party, Demosistō, with other Scholarism leaders including Agnes Chow, Oscar Lai and Umbrella activists, the original student activist group Scholarism having been disbanded. The party advocates for a referendum to be held to determine Hong Kong’s sovereignty after 2047.

Wong, along with two other prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy student leaders Nathan Law and Alex Chow, were jailed for six to eight months on 17 August 2017 for unlawful assembly (Wong and Law) and incitement to assemble unlawfully (Chow) at Civic Square, at the Central Government Complex in the Tamar site, during a protest that triggered the 79-day Occupy sit-ins of 2014.

Wong was arrested and held for three hours on Friday, 16 January 2015, for his alleged involvement in offences of calling for, inciting and participating in an unauthorized assembly.

Joshua Wong was detained on arrival in Thailand on 5 October 2016. He had been invited to speak about his Umbrella Movement experience at an event marking the 40th anniversary of the Thammasat University massacre, hosted by Chulalongkorn University.

On 1 February 2018, a bipartisan group of US lawmakers, led by Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Chair US Senator Marco Rubio and co-chair US Representative Chris Smith announced they had nominated Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow and the entire Umbrella Movement for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, for “their peaceful efforts to bring political reform and protect the autonomy and freedoms guaranteed Hong Kong in the Sino-British Joint Declaration”.

Edited by staff

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