The first person charged under Hong Kong’s national security law
has been found guilty of “terrorism” and “inciting secession”, in
a landmark case with long-term implications for how the
legislation reshapes the city’s common law traditions.
Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, was accused of driving his
motorcycle in July last year into three riot police officers while
carrying a flag with the protest slogan: “Liberate Hong Kong,
revolution of our times”, which prosecutors said was secessionist.
An alternative charge of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily
harm was not considered in Tuesday’s widely anticipated ruling,
much of which has hinged on the interpretation of the slogan. […]
The ruling imposes new limits on free speech in the former British
colony. Pro-democracy activists and human rights groups have also
criticised the decision to deny Tong bail and a jury trial, which
have been key features of Hong Kong’s rule of law.
This is utterly unsurprising, but crushing nonetheless.