British man gets 21 days in Hong Kong jail

A British man was sentenced to 21 days in jail on Wednesday for dressing up as Spider-Man and scaling a giant TV screen in Hong Kong's financial district to protest Beijing's bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Matt James Pearce, an activist who also teaches English in Hong Kong, was convicted of causing a public nuisance for disrupting traffic by protesting atop the giant LCD advertising screen last June 3, the eve of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Pearce, 30, of Bristol, England, unfurled a banner reading: "Tiananmen Square June 4th 1989: Justice Must Prevail." He attracted a massive crowd of onlookers in the bustling Central district. Firefighters blocked traffic by inflating a huge cushion in the street to protect Pearce if he fell. His stunt caused two hours of traffic congestion.

"It is a serious case of abuse of freedom," Magistrate Josiah Lam said. "The defendant shows no remorse. He deserves no mercy."

Pearce was granted bail of HK$2,000 (US$258; Ђ 216).

The activist will appeal the conviction and sentence, his lawyer, Michael Vidler, said, reports the AP.

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