An unemployed man shouted a pro-democracy slogan in court as he was remanded in custody Tuesday, the third person to be charged under Hong Kong’s draconian national security law.
“The fruit of democracy is bought with blood and sweat!” Ma Chun-Man, 30, shouted in West Kowloon court. He is accused of inciting others to commit secession.
Police alleged that Ma committed the offence on 19 separate occasions between August and November, Stand News reported.
Chief magistrate Victor So, a designated judge under the national security law, ordered the case adjourned until February 10 and denied Ma’s bail application.
Prosecutors alleged that Ma shouted the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” a banned slogan under the Beijing-imposed security law which came into force on June 30 and provides for penalties up to life imprisonment.
The defendant has yet to take the stand. Prosecutors asked for an adjournment while police retrieve surveillance footage, access data on five of the defendant’s phones and take further statements from witnesses.
Ma’s defence lawyers said he lost his job as a food delivery driver last month and lived at home with his parents.
The prosecution also argued against the defendant’s bail application based on Article 42 of the national security law, which states that bail should be denied unless the judge or magistrate has sufficient grounds for believing that the suspect or defendant will not continue to commit acts endangering national security.
The first person charged under the law was a man accused of driving a motorbike flying a pro-independence flag into police during a protest on July 1. The second person was Tony Chung, a 19-year-old former activist who was charged with allegedly posting pro-independence slogans on Facebook. Chung was taken into custody on October 29 near the US consulate in Hong Kong, where he reportedly planned to seek asylum.