Hong Kong protesters sentenced to nine years in prison in the first National Security Act case


Hong Kong — Protesters in support of democratization sentenced to nine years in prison on Friday in the first case carefully watched under Hong Kong’s national security law as the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strengthened control of its territory. I was told.

Ton Inkit, 24, was convicted at a rally on July 1, 2020, for inciting withdrawal and terrorism by driving a motorcycle into a group of police officers. “

The CCP imposed security laws on the former British colony last year following an anti-government protest that broke out in mid-2019.

The ruling was significantly longer than the three years required by the prosecution. Ton’s lawyers have sued less than 10. He faced the possibility of life imprisonment.

Critics have accused Beijing of violating the autonomy and Western civil liberties promised when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 and undermining its position as a trade and financial center.

More than 100 people were arrested by the Security Law.

Attorneys have found that a committee of three judges did not admit that the attack was intentional, there were no injuries, and segregation-related crimes were found to be minor under the law. He said the penalties should be light.

On Friday, Ton wore a black shirt and a blue blazer tie throughout the trial.

A committee of three judges ruled on Tuesday that Ton’s actions were violent acts aimed at coercing Hong Kong and mainland governments and threatening the public. Raising the flag is an act of inciting withdrawal, rejecting the defense’s claim that using the slogan alone can prove that Ton is inciting withdrawal.

Ton’s trial was conducted without a jury under rules that allow exceptions to Hong Kong’s English common law system when state secrets need to be protected or when foreign troops are involved. The jury was elected by Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam.

Apple Daily, a democratic newspaper and one of Hong Kong’s last independent media, was shut down last month after journalists and executives were arrested. Its owner, Jimmy Lai, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison and is further accused of colluding with foreigners to jeopardize national security.

Last year, the Hong Kong legislature was reorganized to reduce the role of the public in electing parliamentarians and to guarantee a majority of the Beijing Alliance figures. The rules of elected civil servants have become stricter to require them to be considered patriotic.

By Katie Tam and Janice Lo