The Hong Kong District Court on Thursday sentenced 26 months of prison time to singer Tommy Yuen for insulting Hong Kong’s police force and for laundering some $91,000 (HK$700,000) that he raised through crowdfunding.
The District Court reduced the prison time from 39 months for Yuen, who is also a former member of Cantopop boy group E-kids that is now disbanded. The singer has been held in prison since February last year, awaiting trial. During the hearing of the case, the court noted that Yuen had made seditious comments on social media about a police officer who died in the line of duty and a magistrate with a heart condition.According to Variety news report, Yuen raised the laundered money through the sale of biscuits claiming that the proceeds would go to a woman charged with rioting in the territory’s 2019 pro-democracy protests. The woman turned out to be fictitious.
The judge, Ernest Michael Lin Kam-hung, said that Yuen “had intended to paralyse society and promote Hong Kong independence” with his remarks. “The purpose of his messages was to reignite the dissatisfaction and anxiety in society that have already subsided,” said Lin. “He did so for his own benefit at the expense of social harmony.”
China’s national security law was directly injected into Hong Kong’s mini constitution in July, 2020 by the mainland Chinese authorities.The law criminalized subversion, secession, terrorist acts and collusion with foreign powers. It was widely drawn and gave the police significant new powers that have alarmed democrats, civil society and business partners. However, according to the Hong Kong authorities introduction of the law has restored calm and stability to the territory.