Charged under security law, HK activist denied bail


Hong Kong, Oct 29 (IANS): A Hong Kong activist was denied bail on Thursday after he became the second person to be charged under the national security law imposed on the city by China earlier this year.

Tony Chung, who was arrested at opposite the US consulate on Tuesday, had also faced allegations of laundering close to HK$700,000 and publishing seditious articles, reports the South China Morning Post newspaper.

The bail of the 19-year-old former convenor of the now-defunct Studentlocalism group, was denied at West Kowloon Court on Thursday morning.

On Thursday, prosecutors also accused Chung of conspiring to publish seditious articles between November 30, 2018 and June 9 this year, before the national security law took effect on June 30.

The sedition allegation, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a HK$5,000 fine for a first offence, said Chung conspired with others to "excite inhabitants of Hong Kong to attempt to procure the alteration, otherwise than by lawful means, of any other matter in Hong Kong as by law established".

Chung had recently told BBC Chinese that he felt he could not talk or act freely, and had to "worry about the red lines all the time".

But he also said activists had not given up fighting and that "at the right moment, we will come out to protest again".

Just three days after the law was imposed, 23-year-old Tong Ying-kit was accused of inciting secession and engaging in terrorism, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported.

He will remain in custody until his trial at the High Court, where sentencing is not subject to any restrictions.

  

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