Cops speed to seditious t-shirt scene

First, burner phones; now this… Hong Kong NatSec police arrest a man at the airport for having an allegedly seditious t-shirt. He is denied bail and will be in jail until a hearing in early January.

The government’s press release says

The National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force today (November 29) laid charges against a 26-year-old man with one count of “doing an act or acts with seditious intention”, one count of “possessing seditious publications” and one count of “possessing a Hong Kong identity card related to another person”.

…On November 27 afternoon, Police received a report that a man was allegedly wearing a shirt with seditious wordings at the Hong Kong International Airport. Police officers sped to the scene and further seized some flags and clothing with seditious wording, as well as an identity card relating to another person from his personal belongings.

They ‘sped to the scene’? It was obviously an exciting day up at the airport.

Will foreign governments now issue travel advisories warning citizens that they could be arrested in Hong Kong for wearing the wrong t-shirt? Could the HK Tourism Board revive its old ‘stay an extra day’ slogan as ‘stay an extra six weeks, in jail, for your t-shirt’? (Meanwhile, the SCMP says Hong Kong will host a glitzy show to burnish its image as a fashion capital.)

As the HK47 trial nears its conclusion, the prosecution argues for a ‘wide interpretation’ of the NatSec law…

The prosecution examined the definition of “other unlawful means” as specified in Article 22 of the Beijing-imposed security law, which says people are guilty of subversion if they organise or conduct certain acts “by force or threat of force or other unlawful means.”

Man said Article 22 created two categories of activities under which national security could be endangered. The first was “force-related,” and the second was “all other means apart from force-related means.”

He claimed that the legislative purpose of the security law was to “punish, prevent, and suppress any endangering of national security,” and a narrow interpretation of the phrase “other unlawful means” would compromise the effectiveness of the law.

Samuel Bickett writes

As written, NSL “subversion” under Art. 22 requires first proving a predicate offense—an associated crime (“unlawful means” in the NSL) that was committed as part of the subversion, like assault or fraud. But in the HK47’s case, defendants were literally just exercising their right under the Basic Law to get elected and veto the budget. So what is the “unlawful means” the DOJ is alleging and the judges are allowing as a predicate offense? The NSL itself. 

In other words, the defendants committed subversion by committing subversion. 

This is brazenly stupid legal interpretation, even by HK court standards.

Wait! There’s more! Chinese U is criticized by the Audit Commission (who ‘sped to the scene’, right?) for not including clauses on NatSec in contracts and tenders.


Channel 4 Dispatches reports on attempts to intimidate Hong Kong dissidents in the UK.

Video: the best of Charlie Munger, who has died at the age of 99. (If you’re into random vids – here’s a deranged Elon Musk at a business conference telling companies to shove the ad-spend on which his own profits depend.)

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10 Responses to Cops speed to seditious t-shirt scene

  1. Reactor #4 says:

    Regarding the idiot who was arrested at the airport. Clearly, he is off his bleedin’ rocker – it’s up there with this: He deserves everything that is about to come his way.

  2. reductio says:

    “Put the t-shirt down! Put it down, NOW! Step away from the clothing slowly with your hands raised. Do not touch your crotch. Move your hand away!”

    (Shots fired)

    “Tac-4 this is Scorpion-1. We have neutralised the suspect following the exposure of potentially subversive briefs. Scorpion-2 has set up a defensive perimeter and Spider snatch group has taken five bystanders into custody for, well, um…because we can. Out.”

  3. Henry's Kiss off says:

    Good to see evil old Henry got a proper send off from Rolling Stone:

    Henry Kissinger, War Criminal Beloved by America’s Ruling Class, Finally Dies

    The infamy of Nixon’s foreign-policy architect sits, eternally, beside that of history’s worst mass murderers. A deeper shame attaches to the country that celebrates him

  4. joseph says:

    Wait you’re taking potshots at Elon Musk now? A blogger exercising contentious free speech gets snippy about a guy who operates a whole platform that (now) allows contentious free speech? I enjoy your blog, but whenever your posting strays anywhere outside HK you reveal yourself as a cookie-cutter midwit WaPo drone.

  5. justsayin says:

    Where’s your best of Henry Kissinger video.

    Will I get arrested for wearing a t-shirt with the letter D on it if I clarify that this an abbreviation for ‘DIU CCP’

  6. Stanley Lieber says:

    Henry the K wanted to extort concessions out of Israel at the outset of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. When HK told President Nixon about Israel’s outrageous demands for military hardware, he thought RN would recoil. Instead, Nixon said to him, “Double it!” Don’t give Henry credit for decisions that were not his to make, good or bad. This applies to relations with China as well, of course.

    When the Russians threatened to enter the war directly on the side of the Egyptians because the Israelis were on the outskirts of Cairo, Nixon called Breshnev on the hot line and told him directly that if the Soviet Union entered the conflict, they faced nuclear war with the U.S. The Soviets wisely backed off.

    Henry gets too much credit; Nixon was in charge. Nixon ended the Vietnam War. Henry was along for the ride. They were a very effective pair. However, for good or ill, RN was the decision maker.

  7. HK-Cynic says:

    Will wearing a Winnie the Pooh t-shirt now get you arrested for sedition?
    Just asking….

  8. Low Profile says:

    @Stanley Lieber – agreed, Nixon was a nasty bastard too, but the recently declassified documents on the Chilean coup show Kissinger as the main driver of that shameful episode. If we’re going to mourn for anyone who’s just died, Shane McGowan would be far more deserving of your sorrow.

  9. James says:

    When people say fashion police they usually mean something else

  10. Stanley Lieber says:

    @Low Profile

    Salvator Allende was pushed out by a homegrown Chilean military coup led by Augusto Pinochet. Recently declassified files confirm the historical record on this point, and there is no dispute about this amongst serious historians.

    The U.S.was pleased to stand aside when Pinochet made his move, but the coup was cooked up and executed by disaffected Chileans, not the CIA.

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