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The Nikkei View

Beijing's crackdown on free speech in Hong Kong is unacceptable

Attempt to hold young democracy activists accountable for protests is absurd

Pro-democracy activists, from left, Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow arrive at court in Hong Kong on Nov. 23. All three were handed prison sentences.   © Reuters

Chinese authorities are unceasing in their efforts to crush the push for democracy by the people of Hong Kong. In particular, the suppression of young people, who risked their physical safety on the front lines of protests, is growing more intense. Democratic countries cannot tolerate unilateral measures to curtail Hong Kongers' freedoms of speech and assembly, which Beijing has promised to them with the city's "high degree of political autonomy" and "one country, two systems."

Accused of inciting unauthorized protests last summer, democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam received prison sentences of 13 and a half months, 10 months and seven months, respectively.

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