HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong court docket denied bail on Monday to the primary particular person charged with inciting separatism and terrorism below the town’s new nationwide safety legislation after he carried an indication saying “Liberate Hong Kong” and drove his motorcycle into police.
Tong Ying-kit, 23, was arrested after a video posted on-line confirmed him knocking over a number of officers at an indication final Wednesday, lower than 24 hours after Beijing imposed sweeping nationwide safety laws on its freest metropolis.
Town’s authorities has mentioned the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our occasions”, connotes separatism or subversion below the brand new legislation, stoking concern over freedom of expression within the former British colony.
Tong, who was unable to seem in court docket on Friday as he was being handled in hospital for accidents sustained within the incident, appeared in court docket in a wheelchair.
In rejecting bail, Chief Justice of the Peace So Wai-tak referred to Article 42 of the brand new legislation, which states that bail is not going to be granted if the decide has enough grounds to imagine the defendant will proceed to hazard nationwide safety.
The case was adjourned till Oct. 6 and Tong was remanded in custody.
Critics say the legislation – which punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with international forces with as much as life in jail – is aimed toward crushing dissent and a long-running marketing campaign for higher democracy.
Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong have repeatedly mentioned it’s aimed toward a number of “troublemakers” and won’t have an effect on the rights and freedoms that underpin the town’s position as a monetary hub.
Additionally on Monday, distinguished democracy activist Joshua Wong pleaded not responsible to inciting others to take part in an illegal meeting throughout anti-government protests final yr.
Fellow activist Agnes Chow pleaded responsible to an identical cost. Their case has been adjourned to Aug. 5.
Wong and Chow, who have been each granted bail final yr, led a pro-democracy group referred to as Demosisto that they dissolved hours after Beijing handed the nationwide safety legislation.
The US, Britain and others have denounced the brand new laws, which critics say is the most important step China has taken to tighten its grip over the town, regardless of a “one nation, two methods” formulation meant to protect its freedoms.
Reporting By Jessie Pang and Pak Yiu; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Enhancing by Robert Birsel; Enhancing by Robert Birsel