A Hong Kong court has granted bail to pro-democracy activist Winnie Yu, who is set to face trial under the national security law for participating in a primary election in the since-postponed 2020 Legislative Council race.

Yu, who has been remanded in custody for five months, appeared at the High Court on Wednesday in front of national security judge Esther Toh.

Winnie Yu
Winnie Yu. File photo: Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, via Facebook.

The 34-year-old was one of the 47 democrats accused of “conspiracy to commit subversion.” Including Yu, 13 out of 47 people have been granted bail. Others have been remanded in custody since February.

Yu had to pay a cash bail of HK$100,000. Her husband was ordered to provide a surety of HK$50,000. She also had to hand over all her travel documents, report to the Sha Tin Police Station four times per week, and could not leave Hong Kong, Stand News reported.

The former chairperson of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance was also ordered to observe a curfew from midnight to 6:00 a.m. each day. Yu was also banned from directly or indirectly making, publishing, sharing any speech or commit any acts that might violate the national security law, Citizen News reported.

She was also ordered to not take part in any election, apart from voting, or contacting any foreign officials by any means. Defendants convicted in the High Court face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

National security law
Photo: GovHK.

The 47 defendants will appear at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on September 23 for a committal proceeding as the prosecution applied to transfer the case to the High Court.

Under the 2020 Beijing-imposed national security law, subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure were criminalised.

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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.