Hong Kong Teen Arrests | God's World News

Hong Kong Teen Arrests

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    Police detain a young protester in Hong Kong. (AP/Kin Cheung)
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    Riot police stop and search a young man after a protest to support a Chinese newspaper. (Marc Fernandes/NurPhoto/AP)
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    Police detain protesters. (AP/Kin Cheung)
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    Riot police arrest a young protester. (AP/Kin Cheung)
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    Mao Zedong was a Chinese Communist revolutionary. Prosecutors claimed that the group Returning Valiant quoted him. (Public domain)
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Five Hong Kong teenagers received a stiff punishment. They joined a group promoting independence from Chinese rule. After their arrest, a judge ordered them to serve up to three years in detention at a correctional facility. The charge against them? Urging an “armed revolution.”

The teens pled guilty to “inciting others to subvert state power” through a group named Returning Valiant. They were only 15 to 18 at the time of their alleged offence. Two other group members, aged 21 and 26, will also receive sentences—possibly harsher ones.

Justice Kwok Wai-kin claims the defendants advocated a “bloody revolution” to overthrow the Chinese state. They supposedly did so at street booths and on social media. The teens’ violation comes after Hong Kong’s adoption of a sweeping, China-imposed national security law. The law is meant to control Hong Kongers and force their allegiance to China’s Communist Party.

Kwok calls the charges a serious crime. Nevertheless, he took note of the defendants’ “age and immaturity.” He sentenced them to a training center. That’s a detention facility for young people. It’s not as harsh as a jail. The law caps the teens’ detainment at three years.

“Even if only one person is incited by them, the social stability of Hong Kong and the safety of residents may be seriously endangered,” Kwok says.

He admits, “There’s no evidence to directly prove that anyone was incited by the defendants to subvert state power.” But he adds, “This real risk exists.”

The Bible instructs people to obey authorities as ordained by God. (Romans 13:1) However, God also commands rulers to be righteous. (Proverbs 29:2) Following that godly pattern takes great wisdom!

Prosecutors Anthony Chau and Stella Lo told the court that the group’s literature mentioned the French and Ukrainian Revolutions as examples of successful armed rebellions. They also said the group quoted former Chinese Communist revolutionary Mao Zedong. He famously said, “A revolution is not a dinner party. . . . [It is] an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

Prosecutors say the police seized flags, leaflets, air guns, ammunition, and extendable batons (clubs) in an industrial building.

Police arrested at least 22 people linked to the group in 2021. Several face a separate charge of conspiring to commit terrorism under the security law.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong say the security law has restored stability to Hong Kong after mass anti-government and pro-democracy protests of 2019.

Human rights experts, however, call for the law to be repealed. They say it seriously limits fundamental freedoms.

Why? Stories of people with limited freedoms remind us of God’s sovereignty and fill us with thankfulness for His goodness as we pray for their good and for the means to preserve our own freedoms peacefully and respectfully.