Hong Kong ‘Captain America’ Protester Who 'Defied China' Jailed for 6 Years
Ma Chun-man guilty of inciting secession
A Hong Kong activist known as "Captain America 2.0," who allegedly "defied China," has been jailed for almost six years on Thursday under national security law.
District Court Judge Stanley Chan ruled Ma Chun-man, 31, was guilty of inciting secession because of the placards he held, slogans he chanted, and statements made to the media.
"The defendant was incited by some politician, and he eventually became an instigator himself," Chan said, without naming the politician.
"In this context, it's hard to guarantee there won't be other Ma Chun-mans."
Ma did not testify and pleaded not guilty.
One of Ma's lawyers, Chris Ng, said he wasn't sure if he would appeal.
"I do not feel any regret," Ma wrote in a letter to the judge, which he signed with his nickname.
"On my road to democracy and freedom, I can't afford to be a coward," he said in the letter.
The national security law on Hong Kong was imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing last year, which ended the longest pro-democracy protests the former British colony has faced since returning to Chinese rule in 1997.
The law punishes anyone or anything that China deems as subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.
The law has been slammed as a tool to purge political opponents and remove freedoms.
Beijing says the law was needed to plug loopholes in national security and end the often-violent unrest,
In Ma's case, a video was shown to the court of him chanting "Hong Kong Independence, the only way out."
A notebook titled "Captain America's Diary of Resistance" was also seized.
Edwin Choy, another defense lawyer, called for lenience before the sentencing, arguing Ma's slogans and chants were empty words.
Over a hundred people have been charged under the security law.
Most have been denied bail.