Human rights activists gathered outside Stanley Prison in Hong Kong on Feb 17. They're protesting the harsh, nine-month, prison sentence given to pro-democracy activist Sze Yiu Koo.
[Icarus Wong Hoyin, Hong Kong Civil Human Rights Front]:
"Freedom of speech and freedom of association are important for the Hong Kong people to supervise and criticize the government. The government cannot use any methods to stop or suppress this."
Koo was convicted on February 7 for burning the flags of the Chinese regime and Hong Kong. He claims the regime killed dissident Li Wangyang, and has criticized the Hong Kong government for being controlled by Beijing.
Li Wangyang was an activist during the 1989 Tiananmen protests. He died last June in what authorities called a suicide. His death sparked massive protests in Hong Kong, with Li's supporters questioning the official version of events.
Activists in front of the Stanley Prison say Koo's actions only reflected how they felt about the Chinese regime.
[James Hon Lin-shan, Spokesman, Defense of HK Freedom]:
"When the acts of a government no longer earn the respect of its people, how can its flags earn our respect? This only shows our anger and utmost discontent towards the dictatorship government and the Communist Party."
Under Hong Kong's Flag and National Emblem Ordinance, defacing flags can result in a jail term. Jackie Hung from the Civil Human Rights Front says they will help Koo to appeal his sentence.
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