Nine pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have been found guilty of public nuisance charges for their role in a civil disobedience movement that called for free elections in the city, reports BBC.
Among them are three prominent activists, seen as figureheads of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.They could be jailed for up to seven years for their part in the “Umbrella Movement” protests of 2014.
Thousands marched demanding the right for Hong Kong to choose its own leader.
Those convicted include the so-called “Occupy trio” - sociology professor Chan Kin-man, 60, law professor Benny Tai, 54, and Baptist minister Chu Yiu-ming, 75.
They are seen as the founders of the movement that galvanised protesters in their campaign of civil disobedience.
“No matter what happens today... we will persist on and do not give up,” Mr Tai told reporters ahead of the verdict.
Mr Tai, Mr Chan and five others were found guilty of two charges of public nuisance, and Mr Chu and one other of just one charge.A large crowd gathered outside the court on Thursday to support them. It is not yet clear when they will be sentenced.
At the trial Judge Johnny Chan rejected the idea that this would have a substantial impact on society.
“It cannot be reasonably argued that a charge of conspiracy to cause public nuisance would generate a chilling effect in society,” he wrote in his ruling.