Hong Kong, July 13 (ANI): A Hong Kong court has sentenced a veteran activist to nine months in jail under the so-called sedition law for planning to protest against the Beijing Winter Olympics earlier this year.
After the pro-democracy protests began in 2019, Beijing made the national security law in 2020, which crushed dissent on the island territory.
Seventy-five-year-old Koo Sze-yiu had planned to carry a homemade wooden coffin to China's Liaison Office in the city on the opening day of the Games on February 4, but national security police raided his apartment and arrested him that day before any protest could take place, CNN reported.
However, Koo had denied a charge of "attempting or preparing to commit an act or acts with seditious intention," CNN citing public broadcaster RTHK reported.
Prior to his sentence, Koo had been held in custody for more than five months after being denied bail on national security grounds.
Earlier in April, Hong Kong pro-democracy activist "Fast Beat" Tam Tak Chi has been jailed for 40 months and a fine of HK$5,000 for using seditious words and disorderly conduct in a public place.
The 50-year-old activist faced 14 charges, including seven counts under the colonial-era sedition law.
The charges are implied due to conspiracy to utter seditious words, holding or convening an unauthorised assembly, incitement to knowingly take part in an unauthorised assembly, and refusing to obey an order given by an authorised officer. He was accused by the prosecution of making baseless accusations against the Hong Kong police, and insulting them by describing them as "damned black cops", Hong kong Media had reported.
Hong Kong's sedition law was introduced by the British colonial government in 1938, outlawing "hatred or contempt or disaffection" toward the monarch and the colonial administration. It remained on the statutes after the city was handed over to China in 1997, CNN reported.
Unused for decades, the law has been revived by Hong Kong prosecutors amid Beijing's broad crackdown on civil society following the city's 2019 pro-democracy protests. (ANI)