A person charged under Hong Kong’s national security law is suspected of writing pro-independence messages on the wall of his detention centre cell.
Adam Ma Chun-man, a 30-year-old former food delivery worker, appeared in West Kowloon Court last month to face a charge of inciting secession. After Chief Magistrate Victor So Wai-tak at West Kowloon Court ordered him to be remanded in custody, Ma chanted in the dock: “The fruits of democracy are obtained through blood and sweat.”
Ma is suspected of breaching the law again, this time from his cell at the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre. The Correctional Services Department said on Tuesday officers received intelligence and searched his cell.
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“Correctional officers launched an operation this morning to search the person in custody and his cell and found wording suspected of advocating ‘Hong Kong independence’ on the wall of the cell,” the department said. “The institution management immediately put the person in custody under separation for investigation.”
It added: “Any persons in custody found to have committed illegal acts such as disseminating the message of ‘Hong Kong independence’ will be handled seriously with zero tolerance.”
The sweeping national security law Beijing tailor-made for Hong Kong outlaws acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, charges that carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
During Ma’s first court appearance, Anthony Chau Tin-hang, senior assistant director of public prosecutions, said the defendant had repeatedly chanted slogans promoting the city’s independence at 10 different locations between August 15 and November 22. Ma was not required to enter a plea at the time.