Professor Martin Flaherty was quoted in a Vox article discussing China’s national security legislation and its impact on Hong Kong’s movement for independence.
Tong Ying-kit was arrested a year ago, accused of driving a motorcycle into a group of policemen, a flag trailing behind him that read: “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.”
His trial, which began last week, marks a milestone for Hong Kong: Tong is the first person charged under its national security law.
The Beijing-imposed legislation went into effect a year ago. It is vague, it is broad, and it targets crimes such as secession, subversion, colluding with foreign powers, and terrorism. It portended a sweeping crackdown on dissent and an erosion of the rule of law in Hong Kong. Since then, more than 100 people have been arrested under the national security law, and more than 50 charged. And now, with Tong’s trial underway, the crackdown is here.
“It is the application of a law,” said Martin Flaherty, a professor of international law at Fordham University School of Law, “that means the end of Hong Kong as the world knew it.”