A member of the League of Social Democrats – one of Hong Kong’s last remaining active pro-democracy groups – will face trial with two others in July for allegedly displaying posters without government permission last May.

tsang kin-shing
Tsang Kin-shing. File photo: Ellie Ng/HKFP.

Veteran activist Tsang “the Bull” Kin-shing, who founded radio station Citizens’ Radio, and two people who volunteered with the broadcaster, Lee Chi-wa and Ng Chiu-kwong, appeared in front of Principal Magistrate Ivy Chui at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts for a pre-hearing review on Tuesday morning.

The trio pleaded not guilty in January to the charge of “unauthorised displaying/affixing of poster on Government land.”

They stand accused of displaying three banners and two pieces of cloth with words on them near an MTR exit in Causeway Bay without the authorities’ written permission on May 28, 2022. The maximum penalty is HK$10,000.

InMedia reported the banners had slogans including “release political prisoners,” “free Hong Kong,” and “disobedience and refusing to accept fate,” on them.

East Magistrates' Court
East Magistrates’ Court. File photo: Peter Lee/HKFP.

Speaking to reporters before he entered the court, Tsang said he set up a street booth that day to demand the release of “political prisoners,” local media reported.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the magistrate heard that all 10 of the prosecution’s witnesses would be summoned to court. According to local media reports, Tsang, who represented himself, and the lawyers for Lee and Ng wanted to question them all.

The barristers said they expected to finish examining the witnesses within three days, as many facts in the case had already been agreed by both sides. The court would also hear debates over whether the offence restricted the constitutional rights of the defendants.

Magistrate Chui then scheduled three days for the trial from July 19 and 21. The defendants were granted bail awaiting trial.

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.