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Two Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activists Freed on Bail

Activists in support of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong protest in front of the Chinese Consular office in Makati city, metro Manila, Oct. 2, 2014.

Hong Kong's highest court has freed two young pro-democracy activists on bail pending an appeal of their convictions and jail sentences for leading massive protests in 2014.

The Court of Final Appeal released Joshua Wong and Nathan Law Tuesday after they each posted a cash bail of $6,400. The judge required both Wong and Law to surrender their passports and report to police once a week.

A formal hearing on their appeal will be heard on November 7.

Wong, Law and a third pro-democracy leader, Alex Chow, initially received non-custodial sentences by a lower court last year for storming a courtyard on the grounds of the government's headquarters in September 2014, to demand fully free elections.

The protest led to the so-called "Umbrella Revolution" that shut down several major highways for more than two months.

But prosecutors successfully convinced the court the original sentences were too lenient during a hearing in August. The 21-year-old Wong was sentenced to six months in jail, 24-year-old Law to eight months, and 27-year-old Chow to a seven-month sentence.

Chow did not apply for bail and remains behind bars.

Law was elected to the Hong Kong legislature last year, but he and several other pro-democracy lawmakers were disqualified from office last month for inserting protests into their oaths of office. Because he was sentenced to jail for more than three months, he is legally barred from running for parliament again for five years.

Hong Kong enjoys numerous freedoms under the 1997 deal that handed the city back to China from British rule, although Beijing maintains a close watch on it.

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