HONG KONG: A Hong Kong teenager was chanced on responsible on Friday of insulting China’s nationwide flag and unlawful assembly as Beijing speeds up its crackdown on dissent and the metropolis’s skilled-democracy motion.
Pro-Beijing authorities bask in an increasing number of targeted basically the most prominent activists within the finance hub, including younger leaders equivalent to Joshua Wong and
, who were jailed last week.
Tony Chung, a 19-year-light who led a now-disbanded skilled-democracy neighborhood, was convicted for throwing the Chinese flag to the ground all over scuffles delivery air Hong Kong’s legislature in Might perhaps per chance per chance additionally unbiased 2019.
“The actions of the defendant were out of ask defiling the nationwide flag in an delivery blueprint. The defendant walked again and jumped to throw the flag which made extra other folks able to glimpse what he did,”
Justice of the Peace Peony Wong
He was arrested by
opposite the US consulate in leisurely October and had been remanded in custody since.
Hypothesis has swirled that police moved on Chung because he was hoping to inquire for asylum at the US consulate in Hong Kong.
He did no longer plead responsible to the flag insult or unlawful assembly, which raise a most of three and five years respectively.
He’s going to be sentenced on December 29.
“Hong Kongers hang in there,” Chung shouted to supporters in court docket.
Chung can also be the first individual to be prosecuted beneath the
sweeping new nationwide security rules
imposed in June by Beijing on Hong Kong to quell anti-authorities protests.
He faces a price of secession beneath the new rules, which could land him a life sentence, in addition to separate prices of cash laundering and conspiring to put up seditious divulge.
After Friday’s verdict, the feeble leader of skilled-independence neighborhood
would perhaps be jailed while waiting for trial for the worse nationwide security price.
The alleged flag offence occurred of dwelling all over scuffles between rival supporters as skilled-democracy lawmakers interior tried to prevent the passing of a now-abandoned extradition invoice.
In photos shared at his trial, Chung is viewed retaining a Chinese flag seized from a Beijing supporter, which he then throws over his shoulder.
Prosecutors had accused him of an intentional insult, calling his squat, soar and throw of the flag “performative”.
Chung denied the price, arguing that he did no longer realise it was a Chinese flag.
Justice of the Peace Wong acknowledged she did no longer agree that he did no longer know the crimson cloth was the Chinese flag because it was clearly viewed being waved by the skilled-Beijing camp everywhere in the scuffles.
Felony conditions for insulting the Chinese flag were no longer steadily viewed within the feeble British colony, nonetheless as tensions over Beijing’s rule bask in risen so bask in such incidents.
In April, an air con apprentice was jailed for 20 days for trampling on the flag and throwing it within the bin at an anti-authorities divulge.
And in July, a individual was handed a five-week sentence for burning the flag last year.
Chung and three completely different participants of Student Localism were first arrested in July on suspicion of inciting secession on social media.
His bail conditions from that arrest averted him from leaving Hong Kong.
Chung’s next court docket hearing on the nationwide security price is on January 7.