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Tam Tak-Chi's sedition sentencing " points to a growing trend towards criminalising all forms of dis

April 20, 2022

Today, the Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, Tam Tak-chi, has been sentenced to 40 months in jail and given a HK$5,000 fine after being convicted of 11 charges, including “conspiracy to utter seditious words” and “uttering seditious words” under the colonial-era sedition law.

The DJ and former vice-chair of People Power has been held in custody since he was arrested in September 2020. He appeared in front of handpicked national security judge Stanley Chan at the District Court, where once again the popular pro-democracy slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” was used as evidence against the defendant.

Tam Tak-chi, is the first person to be prosecuted for sedition under the colonial era- sedition law, which has recently seen a revival from the national security police as part of its ongoing crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong.

Commenting on the sentencing, Johnny Patterson, Hong Kong Watch’s Director of Policy, said:

“Today’s outrageous sentencing marks a further escalation of the crackdown on free speech in Hong Kong. It is now clear beyond doubt that Beijing is resurrecting colonial-era sedition laws to use as another tool in its arsenal as part of its all-out war on the people of Hong Kong.

The severity of the sentence, the use of a handpicked judge, and the fact that once again courts have sought to use popular pro-democracy statements as evidence of “sedition” points to a growing trend towards criminalising all forms of dissent in Hong Kong.

Likeminded democratic governments must continue to oppose the dismantling of the rule of law and freedoms in Hong Kong, call for the release of political prisoners like Tam Tak-Chi, and ensure that Beijing and its representatives in the Hong Kong SAR are held to account.”

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