A man has been sentenced for the first time in Hong Kong today under a strict, controversial defense law passed by Beijing in the former British Crown Colony. Dong Ying-Kit, 24, a former employee, was incited to terrorism and separatism. Sentence sets a legal precedent.
The 20-year-old drove a motorcycle to three police officers on July 1, 2020, the day the National Security Act came into force. At that time he was waving a flag with the slogan “Free Hong Kong”. A three-judge panel ruled that the slogan “could incite others to separatist action” was illegal.
The two-week trial took place without an arbitrator, which is a complete violation of Hong Kong legal tradition. All three judges were appointed by a Hong Kong administrator to rule on matters affecting national security.
More than 60 people have been charged under the controversial Defense Act, which has become a key tool in China’s repression of the pro-democracy movement. Among them is Jimmy Loy, the former boss of the disbanded pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. Most have not been granted bail and are awaiting trial behind bars.
The fine will be pronounced at a later date. The man faces a life sentence.
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