The High Court has refused to grant Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Tam Tak-chi bail after he was charged with “uttering seditious words” and disorderly conduct in public.

The People Power vice-chair, also known as “Fast beat,” appeared in court on Thursday for his bail application. Police have accused him of “inciting hatred, contempt against the government and causing discontent and dissatisfaction among the Hong Kong people.”

tam tak chi
Tam Tak-chi.

Since Justice Maggie Poon dismissed his bail application, Tam is expected to be detained until at least November 17 – the date of his following court hearing.

League of Social Democrats Chair Avery Ng posted a photo of police appearing to stop-and-search people outside the court.

“Not only was ‘Fast beat’ denied bail, citizens who came to express their support were also hassled by the police, one by one. The rule of law is long gone. Support Fast beat,” he wrote.

Nearly 50 officers were deployed in anticipation of a protest outside the court and around 10 people were asked to show their Hong Kong ID card, Apple Daily reported.

On September 6, police arrested the 47-year-old activist at his residence in Tai Po. His bail application was first denied when his case was mentioned at Fanling Magistrates’ Courts last Tuesday. Slogans deemed controversial by the prosecutor included “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times,” “Five demands, not one less” and “Disband the police force.”

In March, Central and Western District Council Chair Cheng Lai-king of the Democratic Party was also arrested under the colonial-era sedition law. She was arrested on the suspicion of “action with seditious intention” after resharing the personal details of a police officer who allegedly blinded Indonesian journalist Veby Mega Indah with a projectile during a dispersal operation. Cheng was later released on bail and the force has yet proceeded with the charge.

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and academic researcher. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and has an interest in cultural journalism and gender issues.