Hong Kong Protester Sentenced To 9 Years In First Prosecution Under Security Law

The U.S. government said the security law was used “as a political weapon to silence dissenting voices.'

7/31/2021 7:51:00 AM

The U.S. government said the security law was used “as a political weapon to silence dissenting voices.'

The U.S. government criticized the “unjust outcome” of Tong's trial and said the security law was used “as a political weapon to silence dissenting voices.'

KATIE TAM and JANICE LOHONG KONG (AP) — A pro-democracy protester was sentenced Friday to nine years in prison in the closely watched first prosecution underHong Kong’s national security law as the ruling Communist Party tightens control over the territory.

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Tong Ying-kit, 24, was convicted of inciting secession and terrorism for driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers at a July 1, 2020, rally. He carried a flag bearing the banned slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.”President Xi Jinping’s government imposed the law on the former British colony last year following protests that erupted in mid-2019. Beijing has rolled back the territory’s Western-style civil liberties and tried to crush a pro-democracy movement by jailing activists. The public’s role in picking Hong Kong’s legislators has been reduced.

Critics accuse Beijing of violating the autonomy promised when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 and wrecking its status as a global business center. Human rights activists say the security law is being abused to attack legitimate dissent.Tong’s sentence was longer than the three years requested by the prosecution. He faced a possible maximum of life in prison. headtopics.com

AP Photo/Vincent Yu, FileTong Ying-kit, 23, arrives at court on July 6, 2020.Tong’s sentence is a “hammer blow to free speech” and shows the law is “a tool to instill terror” in government critics, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific regional director, Yamini Mishra, said in a statement.

The law “lacks any exemption for legitimate expression or protest,” Mishra said. “The judgment at no point considered Tong’s rights to freedom of expression and protest.”The U.S. government, in a statement, criticized the “unjust outcome” of Tong’s trial and said the security law was used “as a political weapon to silence dissenting voices.” It said China is undermining rights guaranteed by Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, and by the 1984 Chinese-British Joint Declaration on the territory’s return.

It called on Beijing to “stop targeting individuals exercising their rights and freedoms.”Chinese officials reject the criticism and say Beijing is restoring order and instituting security protections like those of other countries. More than 100 people have been arrested under the security law.

Defense lawyers said Tong’s penalty should be light because the court hadn’t found the attack was deliberate, no one was injured and the secession-related offense qualified as minor under the law.Tong nodded but said nothing after Judge Esther Toh announced the sentence for a three-judge panel in the Hong Kong High Court. The former restaurant waiter wore a black shirt and tie with a blue blazer as he had throughout his trial. headtopics.com

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As Tong was led out of the courtroom, spectators yelled, “We will wait for you!”After the court adjourned, a spectator yelled to lead defense lawyer Clive Grossman, “Mr. Grossman, appeal!” Another lawyer, Lawrence Lau, said Tong expressed thanks to the Hong Kong public for their support.

The judges convicted Tong on Tuesday, ruling his actions were aimed at intimidating the government and public. It said carrying the flag was an act of incitement to secession, rejecting defense arguments that Tong couldn’t be proven to be inciting secession just by using the slogan.

Tong was sentenced to eight years for incitement to secession and 6 1/2 years for terrorism, with some time to be served concurrently for a total of nine years, said Toh, the judge.Tong expressed remorse but that didn’t count toward reducing his sentence because he failed to plead guilty, the judges said in a written ruling. They said he had “good character” and no criminal record but due to the “serious offenses” those would not mitigate the penalty.

AdvertisementThe sentence reflects “the abhorrence of society,” the ruling said.via Associated PressIn this July 1, 2020, file image made from video, motorcyclist Tong Ying-kit carries a flag reading"Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our times" during a protest in Hong Kong on the anniversary of its return to China. headtopics.com

Tong’s trial was conducted without a jury under rules that allow an exception to Hong Kong’s British-style common law system if state secrets need to be protected or foreign forces are involved. The judges were picked by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The protests began over an extradition law proposed by Lam’s government and expanded to include other grievances and demands for more democracy. At their height, thousands of people held marches and rallies every weekend.The last pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper, Apple Daily, shut down last month after journalists and executives were arrested. Its owner, Jimmy Lai, is serving a 20-month prison term and faces charges of colluding with foreigners to endanger national security.

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Also last year, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council was rearranged to guarantee a majority to Beijing-allied figures. Rules for elected officials were tightened to require them to be deemed patriotic.Last November, the remaining 15 pro-democracy legislators resigned after four were expelled for urging foreign governments to impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong over Beijing’s crackdown.

The United States stopped treating Hong Kong as a separate territory for trade, citing its reduced autonomy. Washington imposed travel and financial sanctions on leaders of China’s ceremonial legislature. Canada, Australia and other governments suspended extradition treaties with the territory due to the security law.

Read more: HuffPost »

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BeeWalter7 HKPoliceState NationalSecurityLaw good

Hong Kong protester given 9-year term in 1st security caseA Hong Kong protester has been sentenced to nine years in prison in the closely watched first case under Hong Kong’s national security law as Beijing tightens control over the territory why can't CHINA just leave HONG KONG alone? and why HONG KONGers can't be calm? Top 10 Countries you should never visit He ran down 3 police officers with his motorbike. He would've been shot to a beehive in the States. It's considered domestic terrorism. He is a terrorist, not a protester.

Hong Kong protester gets 9 years in 1st national security caseTong Ying-kit, 24, was convicted of inciting secession and terrorism for driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers at a July 2020 rally. Get breaking news delivered to your mobile as it happens. Download this free app for latest breaking news. good Good news

First person charged under Hong Kong's national security law sentenced to 9 years in prisonThe first person charged and convicted under Hong Kong's national security law was sentenced to nine years in prison on Friday, setting a likely precedent for how future cases will be tried. wow OnePlus Nord CE update brings camera improvements and less overheating Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 passes through 3C again, will support 25W charging after all Realme's latest teaser is a dig at Apple Loosely STITCHED anti sedition laws that barbarically makes sure the dissenters never see a ray of sunlight for the next 15 years. Even Pakistan has ONE.

Hong Kong Protester Sentenced to Nine Years Under China’s National Security LawThe first person convicted under Hong Kong’s Beijing-imposed national-security law was sentenced to nine years in prison Friday, in a case closely watched as a bellwether for how strictly the city’s judges will enforce the law. . Watch out ! Guys ! This Chen Weihua is a member of the China Communist Party ! Watch out ! Guys ! Evils are lurking around ! . Silence21240183 Hong Kong has become a society ruled by man. It is no longer a suitable place for business. too lenient really for an evil like that

Hong Konger to spend 9 years in prison in first national security law caseFormer waiter Tong Ying-kit is the first person to be convicted under Hong Kong's national security law for terrorist activities and inciting secession, in a ruling with profound implications for future cases.

Hong Kong man jailed for nine years in first national security caseHONG KONG (Reuters) -The first person convicted under Hong Kong's national security law was jailed for nine years on Friday for terrorist activities and inciting secession, judges said, in a watershed ruling with long-term implications for the city's judicial landscape. Tong's lawyer, Clive Grossman, told reporters outside the court the defence would appeal both the verdict and the sentence. After sentencing, however, he urged Hong Kongers to keep persevering like the city's trail-blazing Olympic Games gold and silver medallists, Cheung Ka-long and Siobhan Haughey.