Boy, 17, sentenced after participating in protest against Covid policy

A 17-year-old student was sentenced to the Detention Center despite his appeal as he took part in an assembly near a government building in March 2020 against Hong Kong’s Covid policy.

The teen, dubbed as W.H.H., faced the judgment of his two allegations of "possessing an offensive weapon" and "possessing items with the intent to damage properties" in the High Court before Judge Albert Wong Sung-hau on Thursday morning.

According to the court, W.H.H. was arrested in a sit-in protest outside the Immigration Department’s headquarters in Wan Chai in March 2020 when he was 15 years old.

The protest was held against the Hong Kong government's announcement, which asked civil servants to resume work and not to close all the entry ports between Hong Kong and China, even though China’s Wuhan city reported an outbreak of Covid-19 infections in February.

W.H.H. was intercepted by the police at the scene and found holding a retractable baton and a flag reading slogans of Hong Kong independence. Some firelighters and chemical liquid were also seized from his backpack.

W.H.H. was earlier found guilty of his two charges and was sentenced to be detained in a Detention Center, but he sought an appeal against the verdict.

Today in court, Judge Wong considered the allegation that accused W.H.H. of having the intent to attack others was not appropriate and dismissed his charge for holding offensive weapons.

However, the judge believed that the behavior of W.H.H. to hold firelighters and a protest flag could trigger other participants of the assembly to follow and exaggerate the situation worse.

The judge upheld W.H.H.’s charge of intending to damage property and his custodial sentence.
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