Couple who claimed to be first-aiders at 2019 PolyU Siege sentenced for rioting

A couple, and a man, were sentenced to between 16 and 19 months imprisonment as they were convicted of rioting in the protest at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University(PolyU) campus in November 2019.

Twenty-six-year-old Kwok Chi-fan, 30-year-old Yim Ka-long, and his wife Joyce Ma Ka-wai, 29, appeared in the District Court before Judge Stanley Chan Kwong-chi on Thursday morning.

According to the court, the three defendants and the other 14 protesters took part in the protest at the university on November 18, 2019, during which the police besieged the campus and blockaded the traffic after confrontations broke out between the officers and students.

The 17 were spotted by the police at Hong Kong Science Museum, where they hid to avoid being caught by the police’s search, and were arrested.

After being arrested, the three defendants said they were on campus to provide first aid services to students injured during the protest.

But Judge Chan in the court today argued the roles claimed by the defendants were unreasonable, saying Yim, a former car detailing worker, was not qualified to be rescue personnel.

The judge also found that the three defendants were guilty of rioting, citing they were triggered by the atmosphere during the protest to enter the campus to support the protesters even though knowing the riot has broken out for days.

However, given that the three had pleaded guilty and had previously submitted a plea letter expressing their remorse the judge reduced their sentences from the start of two-year imprisonment to 16 months for Ma and 19 months for Yim and Kwok, respectively.