Global RiskNews Briefs

Hong Kong jails 20-year-old activist under national security law

Tony Chung, the 20-year-old former leader of the Hong Kong pro-independence group Studentlocalism was sentenced to 43 months in prison for attempting to promote separation from China and money laundering. Chung was charged under the sweeping national security law in October of 2020 and denied bail. Chung was allegedly detained along with two associates at a coffee shop close to the US consulate by unidentified men. Chung was believed to have been preparing for an asylum application. Chung entered into a plea bargain, admitting guilt on the charge of succession and one count of money laundering. Chung pled not guilty to a sedition charge and another money laundering accusation.

The plea led to a 25% reduction in the 20-year-old’s sentence. Only three months of the 18-month money laundering charge will be served. According to District Court Judge Stanley Chan, Chung actively organized, planned, and implemented activities designed to separate the country. Chung also allegedly acted as an administrator for the US branch of Studentlocalism and an organization called the Initiative Independence Party. The prosecutor also stated that pro-independence T-shirts, flags, and books were seized from Chung’s home. The money laundering charge is tied to donations received by Chung via PayPal.

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