A Hong Kong woman charged under the sedition law over social media posts has been remanded in custody after being denied bail.
Law Oi-wa, who was arrested on Tuesday afternoon, appeared at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning.
The 48-year-old homemaker stands accused of “doing an act or acts with seditious intention” linked to posts on Facebook and Twitter. She was said to have intended to “bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection” against the Hong Kong and Central governments,” incite violence and “counsel disobedience to law,” among other intentions, according to the charge sheet.
Local media outlets reported that the content included the popular 2019 protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times” and pro-independence chants, as well as an image of Hong Kong’s flag in black and white – known as the “black bauhinia” flag.
Among the posts was also reportedly a reference to protest song Glory to Hong Kong as the city’s “national anthem.”
Officers seized electronic devices at her home that were suspected to have been used to post the messages after her arrest.
The judge, Victor So, rejected her application for bail and adjourned the case to April 27.
It was last amended in the 1970s when Hong Kong was still a British colony and was unused for over half a century until March 2020, when it was revived in the aftermath of the 2019 extradition bill protests and unrest.
Those convicted under the sedition law face a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
The city’s top court ruled in 2021 that suspects who are not charged under the national security law, but whose cases involve national security, face a stricter threshold for being granted bail. In such cases, the courts are required to decide whether there are sufficient grounds to believe that the suspect would not continue to commit acts endangering national security.