Court denies bail to first person charged under new Hong Kong security law
HONG KONG – The first Hong Kong resident to be charged with inciting separatism and terrorism under the new security law was denied bail by a court in the city on Monday. He was arrested for driving his motorcycle into police, sporting a sign saying “Liberate Hong Kong”.
Twenty-three-year-old Tong Ying-kit was arrested after a video on the internet showed him knocking over policemen during a demonstration on Wednesday, almost a day after Beijing imposed the new law on Hong Kong.
Hong Kong authorities said the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, denotes separatism under the new law. This has stoked concern among activists over free speech in the former British colony.
On Friday, Tong was unable to appear in court as he was in hospital for injuries sustained in the incident. Later, he was brought to court in a wheelchair.
Citing Article 42 of the new law, Chief Magistrate So Wai-tak said bail will not be granted if the judge has sufficient grounds to believe the defendant will continue to endanger national security.
The case was posted for Oct. 6 and Tong was remanded.
According to critics, the new law, which cracks down on secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, is aimed at rooting out dissent and crushing the campaign for greater democracy.
On the other hand, authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly said the law is only aimed at a few “troublemakers” and will not affect the rights and freedoms of residents of the financial hub.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field