First conviction based on controversial security law in…

In Hong Kong, a man was sentenced for the first time on Tuesday on the basis of Beijing’s strict and controversial security law there. Tong Ying Kit, 24, a former waiter, was convicted of committing terrorism and inciting separatism. The conviction sets a legal precedent.

The young man in his twenties drove a motorcycle that rammed three police officers on July 1, 2020, the day the National Security Act went into effect. At that time, he waved a flag bearing the slogan “Free Hong Kong”. A three-judge panel ruled that the slogan “may incite others to separatist action,” which is illegal. They also believe that Tong has a “political agenda” and that his actions have caused “serious damage to society”.

The punishment will be pronounced at a later time. The man who pleaded not guilty faces a life sentence.

The two-week trial took place without a jury, in complete violation of Hong Kong’s legal tradition. The three judges are appointed by the Hong Kong Executive to rule on matters affecting national security.

Security Code

More than 60 people have already been charged under the controversial security law. They also include Jimmy Lai, the former president of the disbanded pro-democracy magazine Apple Daily. Most of them, like Tong Ying Kit, have not received bail and are awaiting trial behind bars. The law has become the main tool of China’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.

The United Kingdom ruled Hong Kong for more than 150 years until the territory was handed over to China in 1997. In the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Beijing then promised not to alter Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer of the former British colony. This promise was also included in Hong Kong’s constitution. However, China has begun to control Hong Kong’s political life more and more, and London has previously publicly called the security law a violation of the agreements they made about the region.

See also  France calls for higher tax rate at G20 summit

However, the governments in Beijing and Hong Kong insist that the security law is necessary to bring stability after often violent protests in 2019. They also argue that the 1997 promises still apply.

Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *