Hong Kong has been convicted for the first time under the new security law. It was introduced a year ago by Beijing in an attempt to bring the political situation under control. However, more than 100 Hongkongers are still awaiting trial. They risk a life sentence.
Tong Ying-kit, 24-year-old, a former waiter, is said to have run his motorcycle into 3 police officers on July 1 last year while carrying a flag bearing the slogan: “Free Hong Kong, the revolution of our times.” According to the 3-member jury, he was therefore guilty of terrorism and incitement.
The judges, appointed by Hong Kong’s pro-Chinese government, took particular note of the slogan on the flag, the unofficial slogan of the 2019 protests, which would incite the secession of China, which is now a criminal offence. In addition, Tong’s moped was considered a potential murder weapon. The sentence will only be determined later, but the convicted person risks a life sentence.
Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong eagerly anticipated the trial. Normally, criminal cases occur in the presence of a jury, but that is not the case with trials based on security law. According to the governments of Hong Kong and China, the security law was necessary to restore calm in Hong Kong.
More than 100 Hong Kongers have been arrested in recent months for violations of security law. Many of them were wearing T-shirts or carrying posters with the same slogan as the Tong Ying kit flag. Since the new security law was introduced, the large-scale street protests in Hong Kong have disappeared. Demonstrations are also banned due to the corona pandemic.