Koo Sze-yiu is convicted of ‘attempted sedition’ – painting slogans on a mock coffin ahead of a planned protest (it never took place) against the Olympics. He gets nine months in prison.
The principle magistrate ruled that the offence Koo committed amounted to endangering national security, saying that the phrases he painted on the prop coffin and fabric were not “pure criticism,” but had an ultimate purpose of changing or even overthrowing China’s constitutional position.
Koo has created such protest props for decades, is a veteran Diaoyu agitator, and is now 76 and has terminal cancer.
A former district council member is jailed for 15 months for inciting others to take part in an illegal assembly back in 2020 (note how the Standard wedges the Koo story in at the bottom).
And former student union head Owen Au is arrested by the valiant sleuths of the ICAC – theoretically graft-busters – for sharing a Facebook post by Ted Hui calling for the casting of blank votes at last year’s (widely boycotted) LegCo election.
Then there’s the ongoing trial of speech therapists for producing sheep cartoon books for kids. Which of these cases is the most pitiful? Could you rank them in order of sheer absurdity?
Next week’s headlines to include: ‘Man arrested for teaching parrot to say Heung Gong ga yau’, ‘Nine-year-old released after cartoon sheep book she was suspected of possessing is not found’, ‘Judge jails parrot after ruling it had ultimate purpose of changing or overthrowing China’s constitutional position’.
More weirdness – Chow Hang-tung tries to get a magistrate to lift reporting restrictions on her subversion case committal proceedings. Even a NatSec judge is skeptical about the prosecution’s/magistrate’s stance.
The government gets predictably whiny about the outgoing US consul-general’s comments on Hong Kong’s declining freedoms…
…a government spokesman said democracy in the SAR has taken “a quantum leap forward” since 1997, and the electoral system has been improved to make the Legislative Council and Election Committee more representative.
The pan-democrats have been jailed or otherwise barred from running, and the assembly now comprises wall-to-wall Beijing supporters after only loyalists were permitted on the ballot and only 30% of voters turned out – and that’s ‘more representative’?
Not surprising that the government also has a credibility problem in trying to convince the public that its new health code will not be used for non-health surveillance or control purposes. The new system is described as a ‘balancing act’, although Singapore – with an identical public-health challenge – dispenses with any ‘balance’.
In Macau, the ‘balance’ is such that police are now arresting people for jogging and cycling.