Tong Ying Kit was arrested on July 1, 2020, a day after Hong Kong’s National Security Law came into force. He is accused of breaking into a group of policemen who were guarding a pro-democracy demonstration, but also of carrying a flag that read “Free Hong Kong – the revolution of our time”. It is a crime that the authorities are taking very seriously and could result in life imprisonment in the trial that has now begun.
The National Security Law was enforced by the Communist regime in Beijing. Many observers believe this is the nail in the coffin for the relatively broad freedom of press and expression that has prevailed in Hong Kong since the 1997 transfer from the United Kingdom.
Prohibited by law, among other things separatism, subversive activities, terrorism and links with foreign powers or foreign elements that could seriously threaten national security. These categories seem able to include anything that displeases the political leadership.
Tong Ying Kit’s trial is the first of its kind and takes place without a jury, a departure from the normal procedures of the judiciary in Hong Kong. Instead, the case is adjudicated by judges specially appointed by the leader of the autonomous region, Carrie Lam.
More than 60 people have been formally charged with violating the security law, and more lawsuits are pending.
At the same time, the screws are pulled سحب They ate around the free press in Hong Kong. Local media reported that police had arrested a journalist working for the leading pro-democracy newspaper, the Apple Daily.
The 55-year-old writer, who writes an op-ed under the pseudonym Li Ping, is the latest victim of the authorities’ crackdown on Apple Daily, whose assets were frozen last week. The newspaper is expected to close its doors at any time.
The journalist is accused of colluding with foreign elements in order to undermine national security, a title also covered by the National Security Act.