Hong Kong teenager gets 4 months in prison for insulting Chinese flag

A Hong Kong teenager was ordered to spend 4 months in jail on Tuesday for insulting China’s nationwide flag and illegal meeting as Beijing more and more targets distinguished activists from the monetary hub. Tony Chung, a 19-year-old who led a now-disbanded pro-democracy group, was convicted earlier this month for throwing the Chinese language flag to the bottom throughout scuffles outdoors Hong Kong’s legislature in Could 2019.

Whereas serving his sentence, Chung can be ready for trial over a cost of “secession,” which might land him life imprisonment in accordance with the draconian nationwide safety regulation Beijing imposed on Hong Kong on June 30.

Chung was the primary public political determine prosecuted underneath the brand new safety regulation, which Beijing described as a “sword” to return “order and stability” to the monetary hub after seven months of huge, typically violent pro-democracy protests final 12 months.

He was sentenced to a few months every for insulting the nationwide flag and illegal meeting, and advised to serve 4 months behind bars.

The teenager can be going through separate costs of cash laundering and conspiring to publish seditious content material.

Chung was arrested by plainclothes police reverse the U.S. consulate in late October and had been remanded in custody since.

Hypothesis has swirled that the authorities moved on Chung as a result of he hoped to ask for asylum on the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong.

An growing variety of pro-democracy activists throughout the political spectrum have fled Hong Kong since Beijing stepped up its crackdown on the town’s protests in opposition to China’s authoritarian rule.

Beneath the safety regulation, dissenting speech as an alternative of acts could be alleged of imprecise but extreme offences like “subversion” and “collusion with international forces”.

The regulation has additionally toppled the authorized firewall between Hong Kong’s internationally acknowledged widespread regulation judiciary and the opaque, Occasion-controlled justice system in mainland China by permitting extradition of suspects throughout the border for trial.

Final Sunday, China’s state TV CGTN reported that Hong Kong police had put 30 people who find themselves not at the moment in Hong Kong on its needed checklist for suspicion of breaching the nationwide safety regulation, together with self-exiled activists Ted Hui and Baggio Leung.

Distinguished activists stay in Hong Kong have both been jailed, like Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, or face frequent arrests and a number of costs.

Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy media mogul who can be charged with the nationwide safety regulation, has been positioned underneath home arrest and stripped of public speech — his Twitter account included — as Hong Kong’s Excessive Courtroom granted him bail final week.

The choice, nonetheless, provoked severe criticism from China, which threatened to extradite Lai to the mainland for trial.

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