Activist Tong Ying-kit jailed for nine years in Hong Kong's first national security trial

Tong Ying-kit's trial was heard without a jury - a significant departure from Hong Kong's common law tradition - and was decided by three judges handpicked to try security crimes.

31/07/2021 12:10:00 AM

A Hong Kong waiter was jailed for nine years on Friday after he became the first person convicted under a sweeping new national security law that Beijing imposed on the city to stamp out dissent.

Tong Ying-kit's trial was heard without a jury - a significant departure from Hong Kong's common law tradition - and was decided by three judges handpicked to try security crimes.

Share on TwitterA Hong Kong waiter was jailed for nine years on Friday after he became the first person convicted under a sweeping new national security law that Beijing imposed on the city to stamp out dissent.Tong Ying-kit, 24, on Tuesday was found guilty of terrorism for driving a motorbike into three police officers, and secession for flying a protest flag during a rally on July 1 last year, the day after the security law was enacted.

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The trial was a watershed moment that laid down a new marker in the city's changing legal landscape and confirmed that certain outlawed political slogans now carry lengthy jail terms.The flag Tong flew read"Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times", a ubiquitous chant during the huge and often violent pro-democracy protests two years ago.

His trial was heard without a jury - a significant departure from Hong Kong's common law tradition - and was decided by three judges handpicked to try security crimes.READ MOREFirst person charged under Hong Kong security law found guilty of terrorism, inciting secession headtopics.com

Those judges ruled that Tong driving his bike into police met the bar for terrorism while the flag he flew was capable of"inciting secession".They sentenced him to a total of nine years, saying his offences were of a"serious nature" but were"not the worst case of its kind".

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Tong's legal team told AFP they planned to appeal.One of the lawyers, Lawrence Lau, read out a statement from Tong."Time travels fast," it said."I thank you for all your support and concern."READ MOREThree former Apple Daily editors arrested under Hong Kong's national security law

The trial has profound implications for future national security cases, which can carry up to life in jail.More than 60 people have been charged under the law, including some of the city's best-known democracy activists such as Jimmy Lai, owner of the now-shuttered Apple Daily newspaper.

Most are now in jail awaiting trial.Courts packedChina is currently remoulding Hong Kong in its own authoritarian image in response to 2019's protests.The security law has criminalised much dissent and authorities have embarked on a campaign to root out anyone deemed unpatriotic. headtopics.com

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Tong's sentencing came after a frenetic few days of activity by police and the courts that illustrates the breadth of that campaign.

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Great. He deserve that. Take a look Australia. We’re next. Riding a motor bike at full speed into a line of police. A terrorist action in any nation on earth. Lucky it was only 9 years. It's be more on Australia. Move on... 9 years! Gosh and we all whinge and freak out because some folks are going to be walking around in their work uniforms this weekend

Hong Kong man becomes the first to be jailed under new national security lawTong Ying-kit is jailed for driving his motorcycle into riot police last year while carrying a flag bearing the protest slogan 'Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our times'. HKPoliceState Great! Law and order must be respected. He is a Chinese citizen now said the evil ccp dog in Hong Kong !

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Hong Kong man becomes the first to be jailed under new national security lawTong Ying-kit is jailed for driving his motorcycle into riot police last year while carrying a flag bearing the protest slogan 'Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our times'. HKPoliceState Great! Law and order must be respected. He is a Chinese citizen now said the evil ccp dog in Hong Kong !

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Federal government confirms 'fast-tracking' of Hong Kong skilled visa applicationsThe federal government has announced it has begun fast-tracking visa applications lodged by residents of Hong Kong, more than a year after pledging to provide safe haven to people from that territory. They should instead focus on repatriating Australians from overseas instead of playing political games Only decent thing they’ve ever done. I wonder what the catch is. Moving at the speed of smirk 🐢 Next up: ICAC? strandedAussies? front of the queue? Fixing COVIDSafe? The promised surplus?