‘We Rejoice in Our Sufferings’: Joshua Wong Held in Solitary Confinement

From the New York Times:

Joshua Wong, the Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigner, pleaded guilty along with two other activists on Monday to unauthorized assembly charges over a 2019 protest, capping a month of arrests of activists, journalists and politicians in the city.

Mr. Wong, along with Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, who were all members of the since-disbanded group Demosisto, was immediately jailed by a court in the West Kowloon District and will be sentenced next week.

After the hearing, Wong, who turned 24 last month, was held in solitary confinement under bright lights for seventy-two hours. Corrections officers demanded that he use surgical masks as makeshift blindfolds. Such conditions skirt perilously close to the UN’s definition of torture.

Prior to Monday’s hearing, Wong reflected on his impending imprisonment and the suffering of Hong Kongers in light of his Christian faith:1

Ever since the outbreak of the movement last year, when the smell of tear gas has become our collective memory, I always remember what one of Hong Kong activists, @BrianLeungKP, said, “More than language and values we share, what connects all the Hongkongers is the pain.”

Hence, despite possible jail sentences ahead, it is my honour to stand with each of you from the very beginning, fight shoulder to shoulder, and bring our voices to the world. Nevertheless, whatever storm we might face, I always have my faith in my fellow Hongkongers.

Five years ago, after the Umbrella Movement, we all once believed mass movements were no longer possible. Nevertheless, it was the courage and resolution of each Hongkonger that have brought us through darkest valley and made the impossible possible.

“We rejoice in our sufferings,” Romans 5:3–4 reads, “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Once sown, seeds will one day sprout. Weary and distraught as some of you might feel, please have each others’ backs.

His parents certainly named him right. Would that we all had such faith.2

  1. I’ve edited some of the original formatting for clarity.↩︎

  2. For more on Joshua’s story, check out Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower on Netflix.↩︎

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