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After an appeal, a "Captain America" protester in Hong Kong received a lesser punishment.

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - After winning an appeal, a Hong Kong activist dubbed "Captain America 2.0" for using the super...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - After winning an appeal, a Hong Kong activist dubbed "Captain America 2.0" for using the superhero's shield during pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019 got his prison term lowered to five years on Wednesday.

A summary that was published on the court's website was written by Justices of Appeal Derek Pang and Anthea Pang as well as High Court Chief Judge Jeremy Poon. "The judge clearly overstepped his bounds by adopting a 6-year beginning point.

The correct beginning point should have been 5 years and 3 months, and the final sentence should be 5 years with a discretionary deduction of 3 months.

Ma Chun-man, a 31-year-old former delivery guy who was charged with encouraging secession under a broad national security ordinance Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in 2020, was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison last November. Because of the chants he participated in, the signs he held up, and the comments he made to the media, he was found guilty of inciting secession.

"If the circumstances of the offence committed by a person are of a serious nature, the individual must be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years but not more than 10 years," states Article 21 of the National Security Law.

The justices concluded that this case was of a "serious character," but stated that lower court judge Stanley Chan "was erroneous to utilise the applicant's lack of remorse as a rationale to allocate this case to the "serious" category."

The judges continued, "What Ma did stayed at the bottom end of that classification."

Ma's legal representative, Senior Counsel Edwin Choy, claimed that his sentence should be closer to five years because the effect of Ma screaming a slogan was little and he had specific objectives for advancing a pro-independence attitude.

The national security law, which has received much criticism for being a weapon to remove political opponents and civil society organisations, punishes whatever China deems to be subversion, secession, terrorism, and coordination with foreign forces with up to life in jail.

After anti-government protests in 2019, the measure, according to Beijing and Hong Kong authorities, was required to restore stability to the financial centre.

More than 200 people have been detained for harming national security, including many of the city's most well-known opposition politicians and campaigners. Bail has typically been rejected.

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