A Hong Kong man who was the first person charged under China’s new “National Security Law” has been sentenced to 9 years in prison.

24-year-old Tong Ying-kit was found guilty earlier this week of inciting secession and terrorism. He was charged under the controversial new “National Security Law” after he ran into police on a motorbike while carrying a flag with a protest slogan during pro-democracy demonstrations.

His case could set a precedent for similar verdicts to be issued for more than 60 other pro-democracy activists who have been arrested since the law took effect, including former politicians, lawyers, health workers, union leaders and a journalist, who have been critical of Hong Kong’s government and, by extension, China’s leaders.

Attempt to “discredit the democratic movement”
Tong was sentenced on Friday to 8 years for terrorist activities and 6and-a-half years for inciting secession. Two-and-a-half years of those sentences will run consecutively, meaning his total sentence amounts to 9 years.

“We consider that this overall term should sufficiently reflect the defendant’s culpability in the two offences and the abhorrence of society, at the same time, achieving the deterrent effect required,” the judges said after Tong’s sentencing on Friday, according to the Reuters news agency.

“Tong is not a terrorist, Hong Kong protesters are not terrorists,” former pro-democracy politician and activist Nathan Law, who currently lives in exile in the United Kingdom, told CBS News, calling the 9 year sentence “outrageous.”


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