The West Kowloon Court in Hong Kong on Tuesday sentenced former pro-independence group leader Tony Chung to four months of imprisonment for insulting the Chinese flag during a protest in May 2019.
Chung, a former member of the now-defunct pro-independence group Studentlocalism, was arrested outside the US consulate for his alleged involvement and activities with the group. In October, Chung was charged with secession, sedition and money laundering under the national security law adopted by China’s legislative body in June. That case is scheduled to be heard on January 7.
Separately, in early December, Magistrate Peony Wong Nga-yan ruled that Chung desecrated the national flag by pulling it down with two others during a protest in May 2019. After watching footage of the event, Magistrate Wong concluded that Chung took the flag from members of the Defend Hong Kong Campaign, a pro-establishment group, and threw it into the air. Although Chung claimed that he did not know he had the flag and denied desecrating it, the judge concluded that Chung must have known because of the flag’s bright colors and stars. The judge also stated that Chung voluntarily admitted to doing so when he was arrested.
At a hearing on Tuesday, Magistrate Wong found that Chung’s offenses were of “considerable” gravity. His action was “considerably insulting” and “capable of instigating more violent reactions.” Because of this, she ordered Chung to serve a total of four months in prison.
Also in connection with the 2019 anti-government protests, three Hong Kong pro-democracy activists pleaded guilty for their involvement with the protests in November.
Did you know that about 30 percent of charitable giving happens in December?
It’s an important month for nonprofits like JURIST that rely on donor support. Your gift of $50, $100, $200, or $500 will help JURIST to keep its legal news and commentary free and accessible to a worldwide public.
Thanks for your support!