The court hearing of pro-Beijing journalist Wong Wai-keung will convene today in Hong Kong.
Wai-keung is accused of providing false information to Hong Kong’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications to acquire information on a vehicle owner for news-related purposes. The crime carries a penalty of up to six years of imprisonment. Wai-keung’s pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao published an article using the illegally accessed information to defame Ted Hui a self-exiled pro-democracy advocate.
Expect Wai-keung to face a lax court amid Beijing’s continued repression of Hong Kong’s democratic movement. Likewise, China will continue to tighten its grip on the island and increase its crackdown against pro-democracy activists while most activist leaders will flee abroad to avoid prosecution. Chief among Beijing’s targets will be anti-Beijing media firms, such as Apple Daily and RTHK, which will be prosecuted under the national security law.
Censorship policies will also increase, with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam muzzling films producing politically sensitive content despite the outcry of moviemakers. To do so, the number of pro-Beijing lawmakers in the Legislative Council will further increase as upcoming elections will likely be manipulated. Such a reality threatens the legitimacy of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which guarantees freedom of speech.
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Can is a Publisher and Analyst with Foreign Brief and currently pursuing his PhD in the Department of History at Bighampton University. His research there primarily focuses on the 19th-century Balkan independence movements.