12 rioters sentenced to 48-63 months in prison for 2019 unrest outside Govt HQ in Admiralty


25th March 2023 – (Hong Kong) 12 individuals involved in the violent protests that took place outside Hong Kong’s government headquarters on 29th September 2019 have been found guilty and sentenced to jail time. Ten of them pleaded guilty, including a registered doctor, while the remaining two were convicted after trial. The sentences range from 48 to 63 months in prison.

The magistrate criticised the defendants for their reckless behaviour, describing the scene as a “small battlefield” where the rule of law and order meant nothing. The court found the 12 guilty of participating in a riot outside the government headquarters in Admiralty, where over 500 protesters erected barricades, threw objects and petrol bombs, damaged public property, and pried bricks loose. Despite the presence of water cannons, the protesters persisted in their violent actions, provoking and attacking the government. If not for the timely intervention of law enforcement, the situation could have escalated further, and the core operations of the Hong Kong government represented by the chief executive’s office could have been disrupted.

The case centres on an incident in September 2019 when a large number of people gathered outside the government headquarters in Admiralty, demanding universal suffrage and other democratic reforms. Over the course of the day, the situation escalated, with protesters erecting barricades and clashing with police. The government responded with the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons, but the protesters continued to engage in violent behaviour.