Student sentenced to 5 years for inciting secession

Student sentenced to 5 years for inciting secession

HONG KONG, a student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for inciting secession, an offense under the National Security Law for Hong Kong.

Lui Sai-yu, 25, had pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of incitement to secession. Lui was accused of inciting others to organize, plan, execute and take part in activities between June 30 and Sept 24th, 2020 that aimed to separate Hong Kong from the country.

The court was told that Lui, along with another person, had managed a Telegram channel since 2019 to promote separatism advocacy, incite violence, and sell weapons to others, even students.

Lui said he would not respect the law after the National Security Law took effect on June 30, 2020. He was arrested on September 24th, 2020 when police found a pepper-ball air pistol, a retractable baton and two knives in his residence. He said he bought the pepper-ball air gun from the United States and planned to sell it for HK $6,800 - $666. Passing the sentence in District Court, Judge Amanda Woodcock said the case is very serious, as the defendant publicly incited others in an online platform to arm themselves for revolution and attempted to sell weapons to people to attack others or for self-defense.

She pointed out that the defendant wants to affect as many people as possible to promote separatism advocacy. When he conducted the actions, the city was at the height of its social unrest, and anti-government sentiment was quite high. She said that his actions would exacerbate the instability of society and necessitated a deterrent sentence.