Kwok called the alleged incitement a serious crime, but nevertheless took into account their “age and immaturity” as he sentenced them to a training center, or detention facility for young people, rather than jail.
The length of stay, capped at three years, is left to correctional authorities to decide.
“Even if only one person is incited by them, the social stability of Hong Kong and the safety of residents may be seriously endangered,” Kwok added.
“There’s no evidence to directly prove that anyone was incited by the defendants to subvert state power, but this real risk exists.”
Four of the five have already been remanded in custody for more than a year, with only one granted bail.
Prosecutors Anthony Chau and Stella Lo earlier told the court that the group’s pamphlets mentioned the French and Ukrainian Revolutions as examples of successful armed rebellions, and quoted Mao Zedong on a revolution being “a violent act of one class overthrowing another”.