Guilty verdict in first trial under Hong Kong security law

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HONG KONG – The archetypal idiosyncratic to beryllium tried nether Hong Kong’s sweeping nationalist information instrumentality was recovered blameworthy of secessionism and coercion connected Tuesday.

The Hong Kong High Court handed down the verdict successful the lawsuit of Tong Ying-kit, property 24. He's accused of driving his motorcycle into a radical of constabulary officers portion carrying a emblem bearing the protestation slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, gyration of our times” connected July 1 past year, a time aft Beijing imposed sweeping nationalist information legislation connected Hong Kong pursuing months of anti-government protests successful 2019.

The verdict was intimately watched for indications arsenic to however akin cases volition beryllium dealt with successful future. More than 100 radical person been arrested nether the information legislation.

Tong pleaded not blameworthy to charges of inciting secession, coercion and an alternate complaint of unsafe driving.

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He faces a maximum condemnation of beingness imprisonment, and his lawyers are expected to reason for a lighter punishment astatine his sentencing proceeding Thursday.

The trial, which ended July 20, was held successful the High Court with nary jury, nether rules allowing this objection from Hong Kong's communal instrumentality strategy if authorities secrets request to beryllium protected, overseas forces are progressive oregon if the idiosyncratic information of jurors needs to beryllium protected. Trials are presided implicit by judges handpicked by Hong Kong person Carrie Lam.

Tong’s defence lawyer has said it’s intolerable to beryllium that Tong was inciting secession simply by having utilized the slogan.

The defence besides said determination is nary grounds that Tong committed the enactment deliberately, that helium avoided crashing into officers and that his actions couldn’t beryllium considered coercion since determination was nary superior unit oregon harm to society.

While Hong Kong has its ain Legislative Council, Beijing's ceremonial legislature imposed the nationalist information instrumentality connected the semiautonomous metropolis aft it determined the assemblage was incapable to walk the authorities itself due to the fact that of governmental opposition.

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That followed the progressively convulsive 2019 protests against China’s increasing power implicit the city's affairs, contempt commitments to let the metropolis to support its ain strategy for 50 years aft the 1997 handover from British rule.

China's legislature has mandated changes to the constitution of the city's Legislative Council to guarantee an overwhelming pro-Beijing majority, and required that lone those it determines “patriots" tin clasp office.

Authorities person banned the protestation slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, gyration of our times,” stating that it has secessionist connotations. Library books and schoolhouse curricula person besides been investigated for alleged secessionist messages.

Hong Kong's past remaining pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, was forced retired of business past period and a tribunal denied bail for 4 editors and journalists held connected charges of endangering nationalist information arsenic portion of the widening crackdown.

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Beijing has dismissed criticisms, saying it is simply restoring bid to the metropolis and instituting they aforesaid benignant of nationalist information protections recovered successful different countries.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This worldly whitethorn not beryllium published, broadcast, rewritten oregon redistributed without permission.

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