Pro-independence legislator-elects Baggio Leung (C) and Yau Wai-ching (R) take part during a protest against what they call is Beijing's interference over local politics and the rule of law, Nov. 6, 2016.
Pro-independence legislator-elects Baggio Leung (C) and Yau Wai-ching (R) take part during a protest against what they call is Beijing's interference over local politics and the rule of law, Nov. 6, 2016.

Two Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have been sentenced to one month in jail for an 2016 incident in the legislative building.

Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching were elected that year to the Legislative Council, but were disqualified by Hong Kong's High Court for insulting China while taking their oaths of office. The pair were arrested for attempting to barge into a council meeting, and charged with unlawful assembly. 

During Monday's sentencing hearing Magistrate Wong Sze-lai said Baggio and Yau's actions damaged the dignity of the legislature. The ex-lawmakers have been released on bail while they appeal the sentence.

Hong Kong's youth-led pro-democracy movement has been demanding greater autonomy from China, which regained control of the territory from Britain in 1997. Beijing established a "one country, two systems" formula that gave Hong Kong numerous freedoms, but China has been tightening its grip in recent years, prompting dozens of student-led protests, including the 2014 "Umbrella Movement" massive demonstration that shut down several major highways for more than two months, in a demand for fully free elections.