Ma Chun-man – ‘Captain America 2.0’ – is convicted of ‘inciting secession’, by chanting slogans that ostensibly call for Hong Kong independence. (Background to trial here.) Simply calling for Hong Kong independence seems to be sufficient to be a crime; no-one has to actually be ‘incited’ to do anything. How distinct is this from mildly expressing a personal opinion that Hong Kong would, ideally, be independent?
The NatSec judge dismissed defence arguments out of hand. An expert at Georgetown Law pulls apart the judgement.
As it happens, Amnesty International chooses this time to announce that it will pull out of Hong Kong, after 40 years here. No point in hanging around and finding out what will happen if they don’t (police raids, asset seizures, arrests of staff, charges of inciting conspiracy to incite blah blah, and a NatSec judge.).
That leaves the HK Journalists Association among major civil-society groups still operating – for example, yesterday’s criticism of the government’s moves to tighten access to the Companies and Lands Registries.
An interesting conundrum for the government desperate to have voters attend rigged and futile quasi-elections but also desperate to impress Beijing with its extreme approach to Covid: should polling stations require the Leave Home Safe app to enter?
In case you missed them, a small sample of worthwhile recent articles from Hong Kong Free Press…
How many flats will (or would) the Lantau Tomorrow and Northern Metropolis yield versus how many Hong Kong will need? This op-ed finds the projects’ promoters and bureaucrats are using very slippery numbers. (One tycoon of my acquaintance liked to use the word ‘decant’ rather a lot in connection with the Lantau white-elephant proposal. The not-so hidden agenda was cleansing districts like Shamshuipo or Mongkok of local riff-raff for redevelopment as luxury blah-blah.)
Another op-ed on the background and underlying purpose of that fact-sheet on US interference in Hong Kong, including the shaping of the…
…emerging new official narrative … Without the opportunistic meddling of foreign agents and their Western government sponsors, Hongkongers apparently could never have managed such an ambitious project on their own.
An explainer on how Beijing is erasing the memory of the Tiananmen Massacre in Hong Kong.
And a reminder that HKFP is holding a fund-raising drive.
(Also, in case you didn’t see it, a late comment from yesterday. Didn’t a spate of suicides take place around the depths of the Tung Chee-hwa/SARS era?)
For music fans – the song Fragile, aimed at China’s panty-wetting on-line ‘Little Pink’ patriots. Includes a reference to bat-eating. So far, 16.8 million views. I guess Malaysian rapper Namewee and Australian Kimberley Chen won’t be on the overseas compatriots invitation list for next year’s CCTV Spring Gala. More here.