A Hong Kong university student originally detained for alleged weapons offences was charged with breaching the Beijing-imposed national security law by inciting secession when he appeared in court on Thursday.

Lui Sai-yu, a first year student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, has been detained since September last year after he was arrested during a police raid of his home in Fanling.

Lui Sai-yu. Photo: StandNews.

When he appeared in West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday, prosecutors charged Lui with inciting others to organise, plan, commit or take part in acts of secession between June 30 and September 24 last year.

He was also charged with possessing a pepper ball gun, an expandable baton and two army knives.

In September last year police accused Lui of selling weapons on social media platforms and posting pro-independence messages as well as calls to “resist” the Chinese Communist Party.

Photo: GovHK.

Lui’s case was heard by national security law judge, Chief Magistrate Victor So. The 23-year-old did not apply for bail. Under the sweeping legislation imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing last June, Lui could face up to ten years’ imprisonment if convicted of inciting secession.

The national security law criminalises secession, subversion, foreign interference, and broadly defined terrorist acts which include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure. Lui will appear in court again on May 4.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.