Hong Kong national security law (NSL)
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Hong Kong national security police arrest Student Politicism member Wong Yat-chin. Photo: Felix Wong

Hong Kong national security law: leading figures in student opposition group denied bail

  • Trio from Student Politicism charged with conspiracy to incite subversion under national security law
  • Magistrate sides with prosecutors who objected to defendants’ temporary release
Brian Wong

Three current and former members of an opposition political group in Hong Kong have been denied bail after being charged with conspiracy to incite subversion of state power under the national security law.

The three leading figures of Student Politicism appeared in West Kowloon Court on Tuesday, a day after being arrested by national security officers, who also raided the group’s warehouse in the Wah Sing Industrial Building in Kwai Chung.

Convenor Wong Yat-chin and former secretary Chan Chi-sum, both 20, and former spokeswoman Chu Wai-ying, 18, will stand trial in the District Court, where they face seven years in jail if convicted.

The trio have been accused of conspiring with another group spokeswoman, Wong Yuen-lam, to incite others to commit acts to overthrow or undermine “the basic system of the People’s Republic of China”, as well as “the body of central power of the People’s Republic of China or the body of power of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”.

Prosecutors have named Wong Yuen-lam, 19, as a wanted person.

Former Student Politicism secretary Chan Chi-sum (left) appeared in court, while prosecutors have named Wong Yuen-lam as a wanted person. Photo: Facebook

Principal Magistrate Don So Man-lung, who usually sits at Fanling Court, was called to adjudicate Tuesday’s hearing, which could only be overseen by jurists hand-picked by the city leader, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.

He denied all the defendants’ bail applications after the prosecution objected to their temporary release. The trio will return to court on November 3.

Wong Yat-chin and Chan have reserved their rights to renew their bail applications in the magistracy on September 29. All three can also apply for bail in the High Court.

Some spectators cursed at prosecutor Vincent Lee Ting-wai and police officers as they left the building.

Incitement to commit subversion carries a maximum jail sentence of 10 years, but is capped at seven at the District Court.

Student Politicism confirmed in a post on social media that Chan and Chu were no longer members.

The post contained a statement from Wong Yat-chin, saying: “Perhaps this is the trial given to me by our times. Hope we can all live bravely and optimistically, and together we shall face, challenge and conquer fear.”