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Hong Kong man gets 9 years in jail in first trial under China-imposed security law

Tong Ying-kit, a 24-year-old waiter in Hong Kong, became the first person to be convicted under the sweeping national security law that China imposed on the city to stamp out dissent.
A prison van arrives as a police officer stands guard for Tong Ying-kit's arrival at the Hong Kong High Court in Hong Kong Friday, July 30, 2021. Tong was convicted Tuesday of inciting secession and terrorism for driving his motorcycle into a group of police officers during a July 1, 2020, pro-democracy rally while carrying a flag bearing the banned slogan, "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times." Tong, 24, will be sentenced Friday, the court announced. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)(AP)
Published on Jul 30, 2021 12:58 PM IST

A 24-year-old Hong Kong waiter was sentenced to nine years in prison in the first trial under the stringent national security law imposed by China, reported news agency AFP on Friday. In the process, Tong Ying-kit became the first person to be convicted under the Hong Kong National Security Law, which was imposed on the city by Beijing one year ago to stamp out dissent.

Officially called the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the legislation was enacted by the Chinese Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on June 30, 2020, as opposed to it being approved by the Hong Kong Legislative Council.

The legislation triggered widespread protests in Hong Kong, as democracy activists took to the streets against the national security law. The Hong Kong administration detained and arrested several protesters over the months for breaking the law, of which the 24-year-old Tong Ying-kit was one.

Ying-kit allegedly drove a motorcycle into three police officers while flying a protest flag during a rally on July 1 last year, a day after the Hong Kong national security law was enacted. Charged with terrorism and secession, the Ying-kit's case was under trial in the city.

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At the sentencing this Tuesday, Ying-kit was convicted of both of the aforementioned charges and sentenced to nine years behind bars.

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