A 48-year-old Hong Kong woman who had been charged with sedition for what she posted on social media has been remanded after being denied bail. Law Oi-wa appeared at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning.
The Hong Kong Free Press reported that the police characterized the social media posts as having “incited hatred towards the Hong Kong and central governments, included slogans, promoted Hong Kong independence, incited violent protest, and insulted China’s national flag and anthem.”
She was also said to have brought in “hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection” against the Central and Hong Kong governments, inciting violence, and “counsel disobedience to law,” according the charges report.
It was reported that the social media posts in question included a popular protest slogan from 2019 that read, “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times” and apparently pro-independence chants. She had also posted an image of black and white Hong Kong flag, which is known as a “black bauhinia” flag, per reports.
Consequently, officers showed up to the woman’s house and seized her electronic devices that were suspected to have been used to post to social media. The judge rejected the woman’s application for bail and adjourned the case to the end of April, per Hong Kong Free Press.
Hong Kong’s Beijing-imposed national security law has not been changed since the 1970s when the area was still a British colony. The law remained in disuse for nearly fifty years, only to be taken up against in March 2020 after the protests and unrest in response to the 2019 extradition bill.
The Hong Kong Free Press indicated that sedition is not covered by the national security law, which aims to target collusion with foreign forces, subversion, secession, and other terrorist acts.
Those who are convicted of sedition could face a maximum penalty of two years in prison, per the report.