The CCP’s legal and propaganda maneuvers try to compel the judiciary to declare that a man who destroyed Falun Gong stalls did not commit any crime.
By Gladys Kwok
August 16, 2022
Few outside Hong Kong have heard the name of Hu Aimin, but his legal case is crucial for the future of Hongkongers’ religious liberty. The case should have been decided on August 8, but the ruling was postponed to October 18. Meanwhile, the CCP is maneuvering both openly and behind the scenes to secure a non-guilty verdict.
On December 13, 19, and 20, 2020, Hu Aimin, a 47-year-old man, physically assaulted three Falun Gong practitioners who were legally operating street stalls in different locations in Hong Kong. He destroyed the stalls, damaging also his victims’ computers. On December 24, 2020, he was arrested.
His trial started on August 4, 2022. The defense first argued that Hu had a “legal excuse” for his crimes because Falun Gong is a xie jiao, and it is the duty of patriotic Chinese citizens to stop it. Later, the defense announced a different strategy and that it would rely on the National Security Law and the fact that Falun Gong is an illegal organization and should be banned in Hong Kong.
Bitter Winter followed the trial, and noted a shift in the attitude of the judge. While originally the so-called expert witnesses who should have testified on the “evil” nature of Falun Gong were excluded, after the National Security Law defense was raised the judge adjourned the case and asked the prosecutor to seek instructions from the Department of Justice before further prosecuting Hu.
Clearly, pressures from the CCP are at work, and they are not even hidden. During the trial, pro-Beijing activists including Legislative Council member Tang Ka-piu and former Home Affairs Secretary Lam Hung-chen remained outside the courthouse beating a drum and raising banners reading “Hu Aimin Case—Patriotic Innocence, National Hero.” They chanted “The patriot is innocent” and “Support the national hero Hu Aimin.”
Councillor Tang addressed the protesters saying that “Hu Aimin’s actions were for the security and stability of the country and Hong Kong.”
Clearly, if the court will rule in October that Hu did not commit any crime, the implication will be that Falun Gong is an illegal organization, and that even citizens’ vigilante activities against it should be condoned, another nail in the coffin of religious liberty in Hong Kong.