The phrase “Hong Kong’s hero, Edward Leung” was discovered graffitied around various spots in the city on Thursday.

Thursday was the second day of the pro-independence activist’s trial, as he faced rioting charges for his part in the Mong Kok unrest during Lunar New Year 2016. He has been in custody since pleading guilty to a charge of assaulting a police officer last month.

The graffiti on the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s ‘Goddess of Democracy’ statue (L), and Edward Leung (R). Photo: CUHK Students Union/In-Media.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s student union said on Facebook that the phrase had been graffitied onto the base of the Goddess of Democracy statue – a symbol of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre – on campus.

“It is unclear at present who did this,” the union added.

Local media also reported that the same graffiti was found at locations near Tai Po Market MTR station, and on a bridge outside Sheung Shui MTR station.

Leung – former spokeperson of the localist group Hong Kong Indigenous – is being tried at the High Court alongside defendants Lee Nok-man, Lo Kin-man, Lam Ngo-hin and Lam Lun-hing. Another defendant Wong Ka-kui has admitted to rioting charges.

The graffiti outside Sheung Shui MTR station.

Ray Wong and Alan Li – two other former prominent members from Hong Kong Indigenous – failed to appear in court in December and are being sought by police.

Prosecution counsel completed two days of opening statements on Thursday afternoon after having shown a number of video clips of the incident to the court, and will begin summoning witnesses on Friday.

Rioting carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment under the Public Order Ordinance.

Elson Tong

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.