Prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was indicted Wednesday over an anti-mask law protest last October, another court case Wong said the government uses to contain his political activities.
Wong, 23, is accused of taking part in an unauthorized assembly on Oct. 5 while wearing a facemask to conceal his identity, an offense under the newly invoked anti-mask law that is pending judicial review on its constitutionality.
"If the Court of Final Appeal ruled that the anti-mask law was unconstitutional before my trial begins, one of the two charges against me will be withdrawn," Wong told reporters outside the Eastern Magistracy after he was released on bail.
The court granted the prosecution's request that Wong be barred from leaving Hong Kong, in addition to a cash bail.
"The government is not only trying to generate a chilling effect with prosecutions, but more obviously it is trying to stack up cases against me, barring me from leaving Hong Kong and telling the world about Hong Kong's political struggle," he said.
The case is adjourned to Dec. 18.
The city's appellate court has ruled that the face masks ban is applicable in the case of unauthorized protests but not in authorized ones. The top court will give a final ruling on the ban's constitutionality following a hearing in November.
Wong, along with fellow activists Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, has also been indicted for organizing, inciting and taking part in a protest at the police headquarters in June last year. The trial is set for November.
He is also among 26 pro-democracy activists indicted for taking part and inciting others to join a rally on June 4 to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. A hearing to move the cases to the District Court, which could mete out heavier sentences, will be held next month.