All these judicial prosecutions amount to persecution of our young, she said. Theyre using Joshua Wong as an iconic figure in particular to issue this chilling message.
The three activists have become symbols of the first generation in Hong Kong to grow up under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party, many of whom increasingly feel alienated from the mainland government. They began campaigning nearly a decade ago, when Mr. Wong and Mr. Lam, 26, founded a group that led protests against a plan to introduce a national education curriculum in Hong Kong schools, which they attacked as brainwashing. They later helped rally huge protests against limits on direct elections in 2014, in what was known as the Umbrella Movement.
Last year, the three activists avoided taking part in the violent clashes between more confrontational demonstrators and the police, and instead used their prominence to explain the movements causes, particularly to an international audience. Ms. Chow, 23, who has been called the Mulan of the Hong Kong democracy movement, enjoys a wide following in Japan thanks to her Japanese-language skills.
After the three activists pleaded guilty to the charges last week, they were immediately jailed. Mr. Wong spent three days in solitary confinement because a scan had suggested he might have ingested a foreign object before his detention, according to Fernando Cheung, a former lawmaker who met with Mr. Wong on Saturday.
During that period, Mr. Wong had difficulty sleeping because his cell lights were left on 24 hours a day and he was subjected to regular medical checks, Mr. Cheung said. No foreign object was found, he added.