Hong Kong protest organizers free on bail before sentencing

A Hong Kong court has extended bail for nine pro-democracy protest organizers convicted of public nuisance offences as they await sentencing.

The guilty verdicts handed down Tuesday against the nine were condemned by rights activists as a likely sign of more restrictions on free expression in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

The defendants left court on Wednesday and will be sentenced April 24.

The nine were leaders of 2014's nonviolent "Occupy Central" campaign, also known as the "Umbrella Movement" after a key symbol of defiance against police adopted by the street protests that shut down parts of the financial hub for 79 days.

Protesters demanded the right to choose Hong Kong's own leader rather than merely approve a candidate picked by Beijing but failed to win any concessions from the government.