Nine years in prison for first Hong Kong man sentenced by national security law

The exceptional justice, set up by the national security law a year ago in Hong Kong, handed down its first conviction, Friday, July 30: nine years in prison for a protester who had darkened on a motorcycle towards a police roadblock. Tong Ying-kit, who participated in protests against an extradition law to China in 2019, was convicted of terrorism charges for attacking police and inciting secession for strapping a motorcycle to his motorcycle. black flag marked with slogan “Liberating Hong Kong, revolution of our time”. The trial is a turning point for the territory, where individual freedoms have fallen sharply since the imposition of the national security law (LSN) on June 30, 2020.

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Judges selected by the Chief Executive

1er July 2020, the day after the enactment of this law, Tong Ying-kit had traveled the Wanchai district on his motorcycle to which was attached a banner marked with this slogan of the summer 2019 protests. stopping for the first time, he accelerated and headed for another police roadblock, slightly injuring three officers before being apprehended. He had been in pre-trial detention since. The defense claims he lost control of the vehicle. The young man, 23 at the time, had taken part as a rescue worker in the protests that rocked Hong Kong the previous year.

Tong Ying-Kit was found guilty on Tuesday, July 27, of the counts of “terrorism” and “incitement to secession”, while the judges had not ruled on the count of “dangerous driving”. The magistrates considered that the slogan was “Capable of inciting others to commit an act of secession” and that it was therefore illegal. On Friday, the sentencing court handed down its verdict: six and a half years for secession and eight years for terrorism, sentences that can be partially served at the same time, resulting in a total of nine years in prison. The young man risked life imprisonment.

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Under the terms of the LSN, the defendant was refused bail. Where crimes are usually tried by a jury in Hong Kong, her case was decided by three judges directly selected by Chief Executive Carrie Lam. What destroy the independence of justice, which remained one of the pillars of the Hong Kong exception, compared to mainland China.

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