Hong Kong protester sentenced to 9 years in first security case

Hong Kong (Associated Press) – As the ruling Communist Party strengthens its control of Hong Kong, a pro-democracy protester was sentenced to nine years in prison in the first indictment that was closely watched under Hong Kong’s National Security Law on Friday.

Tong Ying-kit, 24 years old, convicted of inciting secession and terrorism for driving his At a rally on July 1, 2020, the motorcycle crashed into a group of police officers. he Holding a banner with a banned slogan saying “Recover Hong Kong, Revolution of the Times”.

After protests erupted in mid-2019, the government of Chinese President Xi Jinping last year imposed a national security law on the former British colony. Beijing Attempts to suppress the pro-democracy movement by imprisoning major activists and weakened the public’s role in choosing the Hong Kong government.

TongIn a trial composed of three judges of the Hong Kong High Court, Judge Tao Yishan announced that the sentence was longer than the three years required by the prosecutor. No more than 10 appeals from the defense lawyer. The highest possible he faces is life imprisonment.

Critics accuse Beijing The autonomy and Western civil liberties promised when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 harmed its status as a commercial center. Human rights activists say that security laws have been abused to attack legitimate dissidents.

TongYamini Mishra, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific director, said in a statement that the verdict was a “heavy blow to freedom of speech,” indicating that the law was “a tool for instilling terror into government critics.” .

Mishra said that the law “does not have any exemptions for legal expressions or protests.” “The judgment did not take into account the children’s right to freedom of speech and protest at any time.”

The official refused to criticize and said Beijing Order is being restored and security protection is established like other countries. According to the security law, more than 100 people have been arrested.

The defense lawyer said that Tang’s punishment should be lightened because the court did not determine that the attack was intentional and that no one was injured. The separatist-related crimes are minor crimes in accordance with the law.

After the sentence was pronounced, Tong Nodded slightly, and said nothing. he Wearing a black shirt and a blue suit jacket he always there his Trial.

As he Being taken out of the courtroom, bystanders chanted: “We are waiting for you!”

After the court adjourned, a bystander shouted his Chief Defense Attorney Clive Grossman (Clive Grossman), “Mr. Grossman, appeal!”

The judge ruled on Tuesday that Tang’s behavior was a violent act designed to intimidate the Hong Kong and mainland governments and intimidate the public.It said that carrying the national flag was an act of inciting secession and dismissed the arguments of the defense. Tong The slogan alone can prove to be inciting secession.

If there is a need to protect state secrets or involve foreign powers, Tong’s trial is conducted without a jury. This rule allows exceptions to the British common law system in Hong Kong. The judges are selected by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The crackdown began after the protests began. The protests began with the extradition law proposed by the Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor government and expanded to include other dissatisfaction and demands for more democracy. In their heyday, thousands of people held parades and rallies every weekend.

Last month, Hong Kong’s last democratic newspaper, Apple Daily, closed after reporters and executives were arrested. Its owner, Lai Zhimei, is serving 20 months in prison and is facing more accusations of colluding with foreigners to endanger national security.

Also last year, the Hong Kong Legislative Council rearranged to ensure majority support Beijing-Allied figures. Regulations on elected officials have been tightened, requiring them to be considered patriotic.

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