A Hong Kong native, known as ‘Captain America 2.0’ for his activism, has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison as a result of China’s beefed up security.
Former delivery man Ma Chun-man, 31, began his sentence on Thursday following his trial. Ma was convicted last month of inciting secession through the words he chanted and the materials he handed out. “The defendant was incited by some politician and he eventually became an instigator himself,” District Court Judge Stanley Chan said. “In this context, it’s hard to guarantee there won’t be other Ma Chun-mans.” Ma neither testified nor pleaded guilty.
In a letter to the judge, Ma wrote, “I do not feel any regret. On my road to democracy and freedom, I can’t afford to be a coward,” signing the letter with his nickname. Parts of the letter were read before he was moved from the courtroom to prison. A lawyer representing him told reporters he was unsure if Ma would appeal.
In June 2020, China imposed a national security law in Hong Kong, thus ending one of Hong Kong’s longest pro-democracy protests. Hong Kong, a former British colony, is semi-autonomous, with the region hanging in the balance between independence and Chinese rule.
The new law makes anything considered “subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces” a crime with a maximum sentence of life in prison. The law was created to combat the “loopholes in national security and end the often-violent unrest”. Ma is the second to be sentenced under the law.
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HINDUSTAN TIMES
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