Tony Chung jailed as crackdown on pro-democracy activists in as soon as free-spirited territory accelerates.
Tony Chung, a 19-year-old pro-democracy activist, has been sentenced to 4 months in jail by a Hong Kong courtroom after being discovered responsible of participating in an illegal protest and “insulting” China’s nationwide flag.
Chung, who based the now-disbanded Studentlocalism group, was convicted earlier this month for throwing the Chinese language flag to the bottom throughout scuffles with two members of a pro-China group exterior the territory’s legislature in Might 2019.
He’s additionally awaiting trial for a charge of “secession” below a nationwide safety legislation, which was imposed by Beijing on June 30. The cost carries a most life sentence.
Chung was the primary public political determine prosecuted below the brand new safety legislation, which officers in Beijing and Hong Kong have mentioned are crucial to revive order after mass marches triggered by opposition to a proposed extradition invoice developed into big pro-democracy protests that typically descended into violence.
Chung was sentenced to a few months every for insulting the nationwide flag and illegal meeting, and informed to serve 4 months behind bars.
Justice of the Peace Peony Wong Nga-yan, who heard mitigation letters from eight folks together with Chung’s household, secondary faculty lecturers and classmates, and Cardinal Joseph Zen, mentioned Chung’s offences have been of “appreciable” gravity, the South China Morning Publish reported.
The sentence “is additional proof of Hong Kong’s persevering with fall into authoritarianism,” Hong Kong Watch, a UK-based group supporting human rights and the rule of legislation within the territory, wrote on Twitter.
Chung additionally faces further costs of cash laundering and conspiring to publish seditious content material. He has been in custody since late October when he was arrested by plain-clothes police reverse the US consulate.
An rising variety of pro-democracy activists have gone into exile because the safety legislation was launched. Activist Nathan Regulation, who’s now in London, was among the many first to go away, whereas Ted Hui, a former legislator for the pro-democracy camp introduced he had left the territory earlier this month.
Final Sunday, CGTN, China’s state-run broadcaster, reported that Hong Kong police had put 30 people who find themselves not at present in Hong Kong on its needed listing for suspicion of breaching the nationwide safety legislation, together with Hui.
The safety laws, which has been criticised by nations together with the USA and the UK, punishes what Beijing broadly defines as secession, sedition, terrorism and collusion with international forces with as much as life in jail.
Outstanding activists who stay in Hong Kong have both been jailed – like Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow – or face frequent arrests and a number of costs.
Jimmy Lai, a 73-year-old pro-democracy media tycoon who has additionally been charged below the nationwide safety legislation, was granted bail pending trial by Hong Kong’s Excessive Courtroom final week, however is now below efficient home arrest and barred from giving interviews, talking to international officers or posting feedback on social media.
The courtroom’s determination provoked critical criticism from China, which threatened to extradite Lai to the mainland for trial.