Hong Kong student sentenced to 5 years in jail for sending pro-independence messages on Telegram

ByTommie C. Curtis

May 10, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An engineering university student from Hong Kong has been sentenced to 5 many years in jail for advocating the city’s independence from the Chinese Communist Get together in his messages sent on immediate messaging application Telegram.

Lui Sai-yu, a 25-year-outdated undergraduate college student at the Hong Kong Polytechnic College, was billed with “incitement to secession” in April 2021 under the 2020 Beijing imposition of the countrywide safety law.

Lui was at first sentenced to 3 yrs and 8 months by Judge Amanda Woodcock when his guilty plea reduced a single 3rd of his sentence having said that, it was enhanced to 5 years on Friday soon after prosecutor Ivan Cheung argued his crime was of a “significant nature.” Woodcock was certain by Short article 21 of the safety law to sentence the student to at minimum five years.

The university student was 1st arrested in September 2020 pursuing a police raid in his flat in Fanling. Law enforcement seized an extendable law enforcement baton, two armed forces knives, a pepper ball launcher and protecting equipment.

In exchange for the prosecutors dropping two rates from his possession of firearms and offensive weapons, Liu pleaded responsible on Wednesday.

The prosecutor stated Liu co-managed the Telegram system “Channel of Anti-Communism and Hong Kong Independence” to connect with for independence. Investigators discovered extra than 1,000 offending messages despatched by Liu that bundled statements these types of as “Liberate Hong Kong revolution of our times,” “Hong Kong independence, the only way out” and “Fight from totalitarianism.”

“By picking the forum of an open up Telegram channel, the defendant and the other administrator supposed to reach out to as lots of as achievable,” the choose mentioned. “This offense was fully commited during a time when there was social unrest and heightened anti-authorities sentiment. In this context and in these kinds of a social climate the offense aggravated the threats of community and social problem.”

Liu’s law firm, Edwin Choy Wai-bond, is looking at an enchantment. He claimed that putting up on Telegram differs from speaking in public, specifically due to the fact his customer is not a well-regarded individual and only has minimal impact.

In a mitigation letter, Liu informed the decide that his intention was to “let the voice of men and women be heard.” He referenced the 2019 Hong Kong protests, which was fueled by citizens’ fear of China removing the freedoms promised to the island when it was returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Authorities, on the other hand, say the legislation does not erode any freedoms and was meant to restore security immediately after the protests.

“It was hard for an energetic and idealistic younger man to keep wholly uninvolved,” Lui wrote. “My like for Hong Kong was no less than any person else’s.”

Lui is the fourth human being to be jailed less than the 2020 nationwide protection regulation that criminalizes any functions of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with overseas or exterior forces with up to daily life imprisonment.


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