Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

Hong Kong independence group teens get detention for abetting ‘armed revolution’

Hong Kong independence group teens get detention for abetting ‘armed revolution’

They are part of 20-strong Returning Valiant group believed to have organised street booths and press briefings, calling themselves ‘embers of revolution’.

Five teenage members of a pro-independence group in Hong Kong have been sentenced under the national security law to up to three years in detention at a correctional facility for abetting an “armed revolution” to overthrow the local and state governments.

The five were among seven defendants convicted by a judge designated to adjudicate national security cases. They admitted conspiracy to incite subversion under a joint count in August and September.

The seven from the now-defunct Returning Valiant group comprised five secondary school pupils – Wan Chung-wai, 16, Yuen Ka-him, Leung Yung-wan and Tseung Chau Ching-yu, all 17, and Kwok Man-hei, 19 – as well as salesman Chris Chan Yau-tsun, 26, and shopkeeper Choi Wing-kit, 21, who founded the group.

Wan, who was only 15 at the time of her arrest, is the youngest defendant to be convicted so far of a national security law offence.

Yuen and Choi also pleaded guilty to unlicensed possession of a radio apparatus and possession of offensive weapons with intent, respectively.

Judge Kwok Wai-kin on Saturday imposed a training centre order on the five students, under which they will be required to go through vocational training and development programmes at a penal institution for up to three years.

He adjourned sentencing for the remaining two, pending a Court of Appeal ruling on the principles regarding minimum sentences in national security proceedings, an issue that arose earlier this year in a case involving a university student jailed for inciting secession.

Kwok ruled the five other teenagers had undermined the city’s stability and residents’ safety with their calls to stage a “bloody” uprising and all-out resistance against authorities.

“Any city seeking stability cannot tolerate any form of military uprising, be it large or small or even lone-wolf style, or allow people to disseminate such thoughts,” he said.

The judge noted the incitement offence was committed at a time when a substantial part of society remained antagonistic towards Beijing, which was evident from football fans booing the national anthem in a recent match.

“The defendants, knowing the national security law was already in force, set up the Returning Valiant group nonetheless to challenge the law and the national sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China over Hong Kong,” he said.

Kwok said Beijing did not impose any draconian laws on Hong Kong through national security legislation, but the five were deluded into believing both the central and local governments practised totalitarianism in the city and had deprived them of democracy and their local identity.

Although the five had engaged in a serious offence, their culpability was relatively low given their relatively young age, immaturity, recklessness and susceptibility to influence, the judge added.

Calling itself the “embers of revolution”, the 20-strong group was said to have organised 13 street booths and press conferences and operated three social media accounts between January and May last year with the goal of toppling Beijing and the Hong Kong administration.

An online page of the group Returning Valiant.

All seven suspects either spoke in support of insurgency or distributed fliers during public events. Wan also delivered live broadcasts on the internet in her capacity as a part-time news reporter.

National security police seized an array of weapons and protest equipment in a raid on the group’s storage room in Cheung Sha Wan and the defendants’ respective homes, including air guns, extendable batons, knives, respirators, helmets and tactical vests.

In mitigation, defence lawyers sought to play down the group’s influence on society and their respective clients’ level of participation.

The defence said the seven had either been influenced by anti-government sentiments that persisted following the 2019 protests, led astray by “misleading” media reports, or were oblivious to the legal consequences due to a lack of a national security curriculum in school.

Evidence seized from the Returning Valiant group displayed at a press conference in 2021.

Some lawyers described the group’s public speeches as “nothing but a joke” which had hardly caught people’s attention.

But Kwok said the group’s continued incitement of violence entailed a substantial risk that a “bloody revolution” could become reality, noting the defendants’ offence mirrored a “military operation”.

Yuen and Choi were also among four members of the group charged over a break-in at a secondary school in May last year.

Police seized an unlicensed walkie-talkie from the former and two batons from the latter during the incident. Further investigations found Choi had stored 275 obscene articles involving minors on his mobile phone.

Prosecutors agreed to drop a joint charge of burglary against the pair and a count of possession of child pornography against Choi following a plea bargain.

All but Tseung Chau were remanded in custody after they first appeared in the lower West Kowloon Magistracy in September last year. Chau spent three months behind bars before he was granted bail in December, but it was revoked last month.

Sixteen people have been convicted of offences under the national security law to date. The Beijing-decreed legislation took effect on June 30, 2020, outlawing acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
2 universities in Hong Kong embrace use of ChatGPT, other AI tools
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office
Hong Kong ditches Covid mask mandate after 945 days
Xi Jinping and His Wife Meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
When it comes to Tesla vs Lamborghini, an empty vessel makes more noise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
North Korea test-fires an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan west of Hokkaido
US bombed Nord Stream gas pipelines, claims investigative journalist Seymour Hersh
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History