HONG KONG — The Hong Kong activist, who was known for wearing the shield of a superhero at pro-democracy demonstrations, was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Thursday. This law was imposed by a national security law. A court found that he had promoted independence from
District Court Judge Stanley Chan ruled in October that former deliveryman Ma Chun-man, 31, was guilty of inciting secession due to the slogans he chanted, placards he held and the statements he made to media.
” The defendant was incited to do so by a politician, Chan stated without naming the politician. “It’s difficult to guarantee that there will not be other Ma Chun men in this situation. “
Ma pleaded not guilty but did not testify.
Chris Ng, one of Ma’s lawyers, said to reporters that he wasn’t sure if Ma would appeal.
” I don’t feel any regret,” Ma wrote to the judge in a letter, which he signed with his nickname.
” “On my way to democracy and freedom I can’t afford not to be a coward,” Ma wrote in a letter to the judge. Part of that letter was read in court before Ma was sentenced to five and nine months imprisonment.
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Beijing imposed the national security law on Hong Kong in June last year, effectively ending the biggest and longest pro-democracy protests the former British colony has faced since returning to Chinese rule in 1997. The law, which punishes subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign troops, can be imposed on Hong Kong in June last year. It has been widely criticised as a tool for removing political opponents and crushing individual freedoms.
Beijing insists Hong Kong’s rule and freedoms are intact. It claims the legislation is necessary to close loopholes in national security, and end violent unrest that it accuses of being caused by foreign forces.
Ma was the second conviction under the law.
In the first, former waiter Tong Ying-kit was jailed for nine years. He had ridden a motorcycle into a group of police officers, displaying the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” which the court ruled was “capable of inciting secession. “
Tong was also convicted for terrorist acts of using his motorcycle as an weapon.
In Ma’s case, the court saw videos of Ma chanting “Hong Kong independence is the only way out.” Also, a notebook called “Captain America’s Diary of Resistance” was taken.
Edwin Choy, another defense lawyer, asked for lenience prior to the sentencing. He said that Ma’s slogans, chants, and slogans had no impact. Choy stated that Ma didn’t commit any violent acts and wasn’t someone who would encourage violence.
More than 100 people, including many of the city’s most prominent opposition politicians and activists, have been charged under the security law. Many have been refused bail.