Another day in the criminalizing of speech

Chow Hang-tung – already in prison – gets a 15-month sentence for inciting Tiananmen vigils/illegal assembly. Two threads on the Facebook and Ming Pao writings the magistrate decided were crimes (plus links to decision), and interesting comment on the case and the apparent decline in judicial independence.

Update: comment from Samuel Bickett…

I will focus in this article on one disturbing aspect of Magistrate Chan’s ruling: her blatant misstatements of several exculpatory facts. Magistrate Chan reordered the timeline of events and omitted exculpatory portions of a key document in the case: a social media post by Chow supposedly calling on others to join an unlawful protest.

Online radical outlet Mad Dog Daily shuts down. Carrie Lam stresses that Hong Kong has freedom of the press (provided you don’t mind being arrested for conspiracy to collude with foreign forces, incitement to sedition etc).

From David Webb: Hong Kong’s population has fallen by 2% since mid-2020 – 140,444 net departures, plus 11,500 net deaths. Factor in an estimated 74,000 Mainland immigrants entering on one-way permits (replacing around half the net departures), and you have about 3% of Hongkongers leaving during that 18-month period. (For context, in the previous 10 years annual population growth was in the 0.6-0.9% range, according to this. What this means in practice: fewer than 20 parents turn up at the start of admissions applications at an ‘elite’ high school.)

Elsewhere… A thread on what’s really happening in Xi’an, using Weibo as a source. Forbes on how the stock market could be affected by China (allegedly, ho hum) undercounting its Covid deaths.

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6 Responses to Another day in the criminalizing of speech

  1. donkeynuts says:

    From the Christian Goebel thread: “The whole episode illustrates what always happens in emergency situations like these: the centre blames local officials for problems that are really systemic in nature. There is some local blowback against the sacking, some say the higher levels are to blame. 18/”

    Perhaps here we find the answer to why the “government” announced that the vaccine bubble would be strengthened before Chinese New Year only to have Carrie Lam announce two days later that in fact it would be at the end of February.

    If this fumbling of health mandates doesn’t annoy or trouble you, then maybe you are like me, secretly hoping Omicron races through Hong Kong and puts the lie to the zero covid strategy that the mainland insists on chasing.

  2. Boris Badanov says:

    Most Magistrates and District Court judges are ex-DOJ prosecutors. So they were always prosecution inclined. Further, at the lower court level, the judicial reasoning is of greater “variety” shall I say and appeal more needed. Add in there may well be an issue of the lower court judiciary seeing the political winds and wondering if future promotions – MC to DC and DC to HC (CFI) will require more obvious deference to the post NSL atmosphere. There are still some independent minded judges on the HK/CFI. The question will be whether all of these will be steered towards proBJ handpicked NSL judges even if the charges are under the ordinary criminal law and no the NSL.

  3. where's my jet plane says:

    Wasn’t She Who Must Obey and her entourage in Xi’an very recently without any quarantine going or returning? Are they being tested/sent to Penny’s Bay…

  4. justsayin says:

    What’s the supreme leader’s favourite winter olympics event?

    Ski Jumping

  5. Hamantha says:

    @donkeynuts

    You are certainly not the only one hoping that omicron sweeps through the city!

    It’s honestly just what the doctor ordered — at least for those of the non-hippocratic variety — in the sense that it will weed out some of the unvaccinated frail, elderly and “grassroots”, upon whom so much of our city’s resources are invested.

    I mean, the Black Death a few hundred years was no doubt bad. But a few years and decades down the line, it allowed the serfs to demand wages increases to ultimately overthrow many of their serfdom. Silver linings were had by all!

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