First person appears in court under Hong Kong’s new security law

People gather in support of Hong Kong at an NBA game
last year. (Photo: ChinaAid)

(Hong Kong—July 6, 2020) The first person charged under Hong Kong’s new national security law appeared in court today, where he was denied bail.

Hong Kong authorities accused the 23-year-old man, Tong Ying-kit, of terrorism and inciting secession. Tong attended a protest for democracy on July 1 and stands accused of driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers. He was displaying a banner that read “Liberate Hong Kong.”

Allegedly, three people were injured. Tong also had to be hospitalized. When he appeared before the West Kowloon Magistrates Court today, he was in a wheelchair.

The protest took place just hours after Hong Kong’s national security law went into effect, and around 370 people were taken into police custody. Of those, at least 10 were charged with violating the new law.

Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the legislation into effect without letting Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam review it. The new law criminalizes subversion, terrorism, collusion with foreign powers, and secession. Because a similar national security law has been used in mainland China to frame religious people and dissidents of crimes, many fear Hong Kong residents may now be targeted in the same way.

Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam also appeared in court today. Each received different criminal charges for their participation in pro-democracy protests last year. While Chow pled guilty to her accusations, Wong entered a not guilty plea and said, “Now is not the time to surrender or give up….”

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