Tony Chung, Hong Kong activist charged after being detained outside US Consulate
Tony Chung, the teen Hong Kong activist has been charged under the new National Security Law imposed on Hong Kong by China. Chung was detained outside the US Consulate where he had gone with intentions to claim asylum.
The 19-year old activist is likely to face life imprisonment if he is found guilty of secession, money laundering and conspiracy to publish seditious content under the security law. Chung is the second person to be arrested and charged under the controversial law and has been denied bail by the court.
China had imposed the highly controversial security law in Hong Kong snatching away the autonomous identity of Hong Kong. The people have thus been barred from exercising freedom of speech and expression and protest or raise voice against China, that has always considered the territory as its integral part. The law has made it easier for authorities to arrest and punish protestors. Beijing is thus showcasing its extensive powers in a rather non-democratic way.
Mr. Chung was detained in a coffee shop opposite US Consulate on Tuesday morning, according to South China Morning Post. Friends of Hong Kong, a UK-based activist group has said that Chung had planned to enter consulate and claim asylum, but was instead detained outside the premises by plain-clothed police officers.
Chung is a former member of Studentlocalism, a pro-independency group. Post the law, he has said that life in Hong Kong has become highly restrictive for activists, including him. He said in earlier interviews that he is not able to speak freely while watching out for red lines at all times. He although said that activists will resume the protests at the right time.
Mr. Chung is currently in custody and will remain until the next hearing which is scheduled for January 7, next year.