Monday, August 31, 2020

Remembering what happened inside Prince Edward MTR station one year ago today

A line of thinking shared by many Hong Kongers

"When the authorities are trying so hard to gaslight us, the least we can do is remember the truth. Remember remember remember. We are not insane. This really happened." Chinese University of Hong Kong journalism professor Lokman Tsui Tweeted that message last week in response to the Hong Kong police force's attempts to twist truths and rewrite history -- specifically what happened in Yuen Long on the night of July 21st, 2019.

Another key series of events that the authorities want us to forget/misremember concerns what took place inside Prince Edward MTR station on the night of August 31st last year.  Like with what happened inside Yuen Long MTR station, there is plenty of video evidence of the terrible things done there.  At the same time though, there's footage missing that has caused suspicions of even worse things having taken place than what we know for certain.  Specifically, there are people convinced that some individuals died at the hands of the police inside Prince Edward MTR station that night.  

Even if you take that possibility away from the picture, the fact of the matter is that what happened on the night of August 31st, 2019, in that particular section of Hong Kong, traumatized many Hong Kongers.  There now are many Hong Kong residents who try to stay away from that area of Hong Kong.  There also are a good many Hong Kongers who now refuse to take the MTR (whereby it used to be the source of great pride and joy).  And there now is a massive amount of Hong Kongers with immensely low opinions of the Hong Kong police.  All due in no small part to what happened at Prince Edward one year ago today.
Suffice to say then that many of us do not need reminders of certain visceral scenes that caused our hearts to break (and can make me cry even when I watch the video footage of them again now -- and if you're wondering: it was the screaming, utterly defenceless passengers being pepper sprayed inside a train carriage and the desperate first aider crying out in vain to be let in to help save people that got to me the most).  Still, should anyone feel a need to refresh their memory (or see what I'm talking about if you're coming into this without prior knowledge because it was deemed not newsworthy -- or too sensitive to be covered -- in your home country), check out this detailed series of Tweets showing why "831" has become a byword among Hong Kongers for police riots.
So much do they want people to not remember or commemorate those terrible events that the police have consistently reacted angrily when people have gone there to mourn at the end of each month -- much like when people have gone to Yuen Long on the 21st of every month since July 2019.  What with today being the one year anniversary of the police riot inside Prince Edward MTR station, there inevitably will be a large crowd there to mourn.  And because of that, I fear that major violence will erupt again tonight in the area.

Already, there's been some argybargy thereThe purple security law warning flag has been unfurled at least once already, pepper spray has been discharged, and some pepper balls fired have been fired too.  Also, some people have been detained, including at least one preteen boy and elderly man who had gone to lay down a bouquet of flowers outside one of the MTR station's entrances!  

Not so long ago, that would be considered plenty of "incidents" already for one night.  Tonight, I just find myself hoping that I won't learn that much worse happened after I wake up and check the news tomorrow morning.  And in the meantime, I take in the following remarks by Mary Hui: namely, that these days, "Hong Kong is an endless cycle of trauma: the trauma of the moment, the trauma of memories, and the trauma of remembrance denied."

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Still more questionable actions by the powers that be in Hong Kong

I will never look at speedboats in quite the same way again :S

And, frankly, I wouldn't want to be out on a small boat
in Victoria Harbour in them, let alone the high seas!

Let's start off with the good news: there are sure signs of the third wave of the Wuhan coronavirus has peaked in Hong Kong: with the number of new cases reported today, yesterday and Friday being 15, 18 and 13 respectively compared to the peak of 149 on July 30th (exactly one month ago today).  So I think the authorities are indeed justified in their decision to ease certain social distancing and masking restrictions beginning this past Friday: with such in-restaurant dining now allowed up until 9pm (as opposed to the previous limit of 6pm), cinemas being allowed to re-open and masks no longer required for strenuous exercise outdoors and in the country parks.

Alternatively, it's hard to medically justify the government sticking with their decision, announced back on July 31st when Hong Kong reported 121 new cases, to postpone the Legislative Council election -- and by at least a year (rather than, say, New Zealand's one month postponement).  And, of course, Hong Kong looks particularly bad when compared to the likes of Singapore and South Korea, who held general elections when their daily coronavirus numbers were higher (i.e., Singapore had 191 new cases back on July 10th while South Korea had 27 on April 15th) than what Hong Kong currently has -- and, to judge by current trends, should have on the originally scheduled Legislative Council election date of September 6th  (i.e., exactly one week from today). 

Also hard to justify on purely medical terms is the planned Wuhan coronavirus mass testing that is scheduled to begin on September 1st and last for at least one week.  To be sure, the government has moved to try to censor and censure critics of this scheme.  But there still are many voices speaking out against it, including the the chairwoman and vice-chairman of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance earlier today -- and, in honesty, no one I know is planning to take the tests for a variety of pretty sound reasons.   

One big problem affecting decisions regarding whether to take these tests or not is the deep distrust  the majority of Hong Kongers now have of the Hong Kong government.  Of course all this already happened way before the Wuhan coronavirus came into the picture but 2020 has really not seen an improvement of relations between Hong Kongers and the local authorities.  Almost needless to say, this is especially the case with regards to the Hong Kong police force, whose attempts at gaslighting earlier this week just only result in further contempt for them, not least because they often end up contradicting themselves.

Take, as an example, the story surrounding the now-known-to-be 12 Hong Kongers who tried to flee by boat to Taiwan which has been making waves in recent days.  Since my last blog post before today, further details have come to light about these desperate individuals: including the vessel they were in being a speedboat and none of them being over 30 years of age, and the youngest being just 16 years old.  

Something else that's even harder to mentally unpack is that this was not the first escape  attempt by Hong Kongers to Taiwan by boat across open seas.  Heck, the very thought that it's even happened once should be unimaginable -- but, sadly, no longer is since China's custom security law for Hong Kong came into effect and we're seeing how intent Carrie Lam is on ruling not just by fear but also threats.  

The probability is high now that attempts to flee Hong Kong by boat will cease in the immediate future.  Sadly though, that's not due to people feeling less of a need to flee Hong Kong but, rather, because the maritime escape routes connecting Hong Kong and Taiwan, plied by asylum seekers since July, have been effectively “plugged up” since China’s coastguard strengthened its presence in the waters around Hong Kong in order to intercept fleeing dissidents. :(

Thursday, August 27, 2020

A black (attire) day in Hong Kong

Black was the attire color of choice for many Hong Kongers today

The key chain accessory of choice for people wishing 
to make a statement today

In the wake of yesterday's shock developments, Hong Kong Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai and fellow pan-democrats issued a call for people to wear black today to express their anger at the actions of the Hong Kong police force.  Before I got out of my apartment today, a friend messaged me to say she was out and about, and disappointed that not many people had seemed to have obeyed that call.  

Curious as to what things would be like in my neighborhood, I went out to have a look for myself and found that, while there weren't as many people clad in black today as I had wished would be the case (and, say, back on June 16th of last year), there still were a good deal more folks who had dressed in black than I reckon is usual.  And when I ventured to another section of town later in the day, I not only saw more people in black attire but also noticed that some of them were pointedly wearing t-shirts with "Hong Konger" (this on a non-ethnic Chinese-looking individual, which I thought was very cool), "Hong Kong ga yau" (this on an elderly gentleman) and  "f**k everything" (yep, it was a young fella!) emblazoned on them!

In another welcome development, Lam Cheuk-ting, Ted Hui and the eight other people arrested yesterday and charged today were freed on bail this afternoon.  (For some reason though, six other people arrested yesterday did not appear in court with them today -- and I hope that we'll be kept informed about what happens to them.)  More than incidentally, when Lam and Hui met the press in the courtyard of the magistracy after their release, Lam was clad in a black t-shirt with the word "Justice" emblazoned on his chest.  It got me thinking of the man who had "Courage" emblazoned on his (similarly black) t-shirt that had been among the hundreds arrested back on July 1st.

If only all of today's news were of the positive kind.  But I think we have to recognize that things are not going to back to normal or the way we want for a time.  The likes of Carrie Lam and Matthew Cheung may say the Hong Kong government "cherishes" press freedom and insist, even up to just a week ago, that press freedom in Hong Kong is intact but the authorities' actions speak louder than words.  

Even before the arrest of Jimmy Lai and the raid of his Next Media's offices on August 10th, press freedom was threatened: sometimes physically; and other times by way such as the non-renewal of work visas (for the likes of the Financial Times' Victor Mallet in 2018 and the New York Times' Chris Buckley earlier this year).  Today, the authorities went a step further and denied a work visa for Aaron Mc Nicholas, the incoming editor of the Hong Kong Free Press (who previously had had no visa problems when working for Bloomberg and Storyful).

Earlier this month, the Hong Kong Free Press ran a piece on a number of journalists being stuck in limbo because of visa processing delays.  Consequently, there now are fears that while Aaron Mc Nicholas may be the first journalist who looks to have fallen victim to the security law, he may not by the last by any means.  

Another shock piece of news today concerned at least 10 Hong Kongers having been arrested by the Chinese authorities for trying to flee to Taiwan by boat this past Sunday.  Reportedly, all of them were involved in the extradition bill protests and one of them is Andy Li -- who was arrested under the security law on the same day as Jimmy Lai and Agnes Chow, and now finds himself in major trouble since he's currently out of bail and most definitely is not supposed to leave Hong Kong. 

It wasn't that long ago when people were trying to flee to Hong Kong -- from Communist China and also (Communist) Vietnam.  Now it's the other way around -- and not just by air but boat!  Which, I think, gives a good sense of the utter desperation some people are feeling rather than, say, their creativity or sheer stupidity.  Since for every Hong Konger I know who has decided to stay put even if/as their city burns and/or gets otherwise destroyed, there are others who want to leave, if they can. :( 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

More shock arrests and, even more shocking, bald-faced attempts to twist truths and rewrite history

They want to twist the truth but we remember 

What the majority of Hong Kongers have been 
feeling for over a year now

I woke up this morning to news of Hong Kong Democratic Party legislative councillors Lam Cheuk-ting and Ted Hui Chi-fung having been arrested on charges related to the extradition bill protests last year.  According to the authorities, both men are "suspected of offences relating to a protest outside Tuen Mun police station on July 6 last year".  

Lam Cheuk-ting also was  accused of the police of "rioting" in relation to the mob attacks at Yuen Long MTR station on July 21st, 2019 -- which is incredibly ludicrous since, on that stated evening, he had live streamed the attacks on Facebook with his phone, and had ended up being among the victims of the attack  -- with a mouth wound that required 18 stitches among the injuries sustained that resulted in his being hospitalized for a time!  (Also, this is the same Lam Cheuk-ting who previously received a letter from the police last year thanking him for reporting the Yuen Long attack!)

As the day went by, further arrests were made.  As of the time of writing, the total number appears to be 16 -- with 13 of the arrests reportedly linked to the Yuen Long attacks.  As their identities came to light, there was further uproar since the police looked to have been targeting victims of the mob violence rather than the perpetuators!

The more news came to light during the day about the arrests and the police justifications for them, the more it looks to be the case that the authorities are trying to rewriting history, changing black to white and vice versa.  Among other things, they are now attempting to characterize the attacks as a clash between "evenly matched" rival groups -- something that smacks of major insanity (or gaslighting of the highest order) given the sheer amount of evidence to the contrary.

As many Hong Kongers have said to one another more than once over the past year, one big difference between Hong Kong and Xinjiang is that in Hong Kong, we've had tons of press coverage (from international as well as local outlets) and so much livestreaming of the protests and associated clashes that have taken place.  The former helps keep the world informed; the latter makes it so that many of us were effectively witness to such as the events at Yuen Long MTR station on July 21st in real time.  

So "imagine what they would say if the press hadn't been there...".  On a related note: how timely for the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) to announce its 2020 awards for journalism today and give the Award for Excellence in Video Reporting Global (English Language) Media to the New York Times for its "Where Were Hong Kong’s Police?" piece, an Honorable Mention for Excellence in Reporting Breaking News (Chinese Language Media) to Initium News for its "Investigation of the indiscriminate attack of July 21 Yuen Long Nightmare" as well as an Honorable Mention for Excellence in Information Graphics (Chinese Language Media) to Citizen News' "The ‘721’ Yuen Long Attack"!

She may not have won any SOPA awards but many of us remember and appreciate the courage under fire that Gwyneth Ho showed that nightmarish evening.  Then a Stand News reporter, she -- who now has become a social activist and politician, and was the choice of many to stand for election as a legislative councillor this September (but was disqualified from doing so before the announcement of the election's postponement) -- live streamed the attacks even after she was attacked.  

This evening, she showed her bravery and determination once more by turning up in Yuen Long to recount her experience that night and, in so doing, rebutt the alternative accounts that the police are trying to perpetuate.  It really says so much about them that the police's response tonight was to try to drown out her voice with loudspeakers.  But she nonetheless managed to make herself heard.  

Earlier today, RTHK journalist Damon Pang was moved to Tweet the following: "I’m confused.  They say it’s 2047 but it’s 2020,  But others say it’s 1984"; this in response to a Tweet by a colleague showing an incident which took place on July 21st which clearly did not happen the way that the police were stating today that it did.  Also today, Quartz reporter Mary Hui was moved to suggest that "Everyday is Opposite Day for the HK govt" and remind people, amidst the haze created by today's crazy events, that yesterday had seen Carrie Lam making a number of questionable statements too.

A recap: First, she had criticized medical experts who were not enamored of her government's scheme to conduct mass testing for the Wuhan coronavirus as being "politically motivated".  (It's worth remembering that these doctors include highly respected figures such as the University of Hong Kong's Ho Pak-leung and Benjamin Cowling.)   Then she had gone on to criticize critics of the Department of Justice as disrespecting the judiciary.    

Something that's worth noting: much of the recent criticism of the Department of Justice -- specifically, its chief, Teresa Cheung -- came after she stepped in to block two private prosecutions that Ted Hui had tried to bring to court (involving, in one case, an unarmed protestor shot at close range by a police officer and, in another, a taxi driver who had rammed his taxi into a crowd of protestors).  And in the off chance that it's been missed: yup, that's the same Ted Hui who was arrested today!

Monday, August 24, 2020

Control in the name of national security and public health in contemporary Hong Kong

Illegal to chant in Hong Kong since July 2nd
Illegal to ask for now too?

Back on July 1st, less than 24 hours after China's security legislation for Hong Kong came into effect late on June 30th, the first arrests under the new law took place -- with probably the youngest having been a 15-year-old girl apprehended by the police for the terrible crime of waving a "Hong Kong independence flag".  That same day, three other females were arrested that day for being in possession of stickers and a banner advocating independence for Hong Kong, and a motorcyclist who collided with some police officers -- accidentally, it looks like when one views an extended video of the incident

The 23-year-old motorcyclist, Tong Ying-kit, ended up being the very first person charged under the security lawAccused of terrorism (presumably because he injured three police officers) and a secessionism (because he was flying a banner with the "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" slogan (in Chinese and English) while riding his motorbike), he has been in custody since (despite the efforts of his legal team to get him out on bail)
On July 2nd, that famous rallying cry -- whose English variants include "Restore Hong Kong...", 'Revive Hong Kong..." and "Reclaim Hong Kong..." based on the fact that the first two Chinese characters of this slogan (光 gwong and 復 fuk ) can be variously translated as "liberate", "restore", "revive" and "reclaim" along with, when viewed separately, "light" and "returns" -- was also deemed illegal under the newly enacted law, with the powers that be claiming that it's pro-independence, secessionist and subversive.  This declaration caused a greater frisson than those which outlawed calls for Hong Kong independence because a far greater number of Hong Kongers are comfortable calling for Hong Kong's restoration, revival, etcetera than for outright political independence

Before anything else: those two calls really are not synonymous to many participants in the extradition bill protests.  Neither, despite what the powers that be seem to want many people to believe, is it the case independence for Hong Kong among the "five demands" that anti-extradition bill protestors have been making for more than a year now.  Instead, for the record, the five demands are as follows:-  

1) Withdraw the Extradition Bill (officially done but...);
2) Revoke the riot claims (originally, this was specifically for the events of June 12th which had seen the police be a greater menace to society than the people who turned up in great numbers at Admiralty that day);
3) Amnesty for arrested protestors;
4) An independent investigation of police conduct; and
5) Genuine Universal Suffrage.

Not all that radical and actually pretty reasonable, right?  Astonishingly, it now appears to be the case that saying "Five demands, not one less” will also get you in trouble with the law -- or, at least, the police officers entrusted with enforcing the law.  For a local politician actually got warned by police officers that he may have -- but note: not certainly -- violated this insanely broad and also vague security law -- or, as some would have it, insecurity law! -- last night after he exchanged "five demands, not one less" chants with a passerby when out distributing face masks to people in Kowloon Bay!   

Speaking of face masks: the prices for them have come down quite a bit now that there's no longer a medical mask shortage in Hong Kong (like was a case in late January).  And with both pro-Beijing and pro-democracy politicians and groups distributing free masks to the public -- and the government too -- there is a clear recognition that the wearing of masks really helps in our fight against the Wuhan coronavirus

The way the Hong Kong government is going about trying to "encourage" people to take these tests can't help but invite suspicion.  And this all the more so when at the same time as they're readying to conduct tests for upwards of five million people, the same group of officials are stating that it's "not feasible" to test the 60,000 or so people living in elderly care homes across the city which have been the sites of Wuhan coronavirus clusters!  Put another way: this does not make sense and can't help but encourage people to suspect that the health measures are being used as covers to increase surveillance and control over the local population.     

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Saying "No" to Wuhan coronavirus mass testing and a "health code" for Hong Kong

Check out the cockatoos in the above photo,
but notice the (traffic? surveillance?) camera too

And I don't think it's just my imagination that has me
thinking there are more surveillance cameras about
in Hong Kong now than even this time last year :S

At the end of my previous blog post, I mentioned that the High Court would be ruling on a national security law case in which a writ of habeus corpus had been filed by the defendant's legal team.  Sadly, I am obliged to report that challenge was dismissed -- on procedural grounds but still in a way that points to the judges having basically accepted the government line on the matter.  And while Tong Ying-kit's case continues and will have a bail hearing next week, I'm afraid that it's not looking good for him -- or for the state of justice in Hong Kong.

Over on the health front: things appear to be looking better for Hong Kong; with its daily new Wuhan coronavirus case numbers for this week pointing to the third wave having peaked back on July 30th, when we had a record 149 cases that day. For the record: the equivalent figures for the last six days have been 44, 36, 26, 18, 27 and 26 respectively

So why is the government still so intent on scheduling a mass testing scheme -- which will only commence on September 1st?  And this after trusted medical experts like Dr Ho Pak-leung have cast doubt on the effectiveness of the universal coronavirus tests, with the head of University of Hong Kong's Centre for Infection saying the government would be "wasting bullets" if the plan is not targeted at people with higher risk of infection.  

For good measure, Professor Benjamin Cowling, also of the University of Hong Kong, has called the government's outlined strategy as "a scatter-gun approach" and stated that "“I don’t think there would be a lot of public support for [this], I don’t think seven million people would agree to be tested”.   And, actually, I think that the authorities have realized that it might not be possible to get even four or five million people (the figures originally suggested by health secretary Sophia Chan a few weeks back) to voluntarily accede to taking these tests; hence that particularly government minister backpedalling yesterday on those earlier estimates.

But rather than abandon plans for this questionable scheme, the powers that be are threatening to abandon the carrot and employ the stick instead.  More specifically, there have been calls for Mainland China's "health code" to be implemented in Hong Kong too -- so that only people with documentation stating that they have tested negative for the coronavirus will be allowed to do such as take public transportation, enter shopping malls, and generally freely go about and around Hong Kong. 

Despite local medical experts also having come out against the implementation of a "health code" in Hong Kong, the authorities are not ruling it out.  And not that popular opinion matters to a government that was not popularly elected but I think it's still worth noting that in a recent Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) poll showed, 76 percent of respondents opposed the implementation of a "Hong Kong health code system" (with the total percentage going up even higher to 96 percent among those who identified themselves as being pro-democracy camp supporters; and this scheme still being supported by only 29 percent of those who don't identify themselves as pro-democracy camp supporters!).  

So, why would the Hong Kong government consider this scheme?  I reckon most thinking folk already know this but, as a journalist and a doctor combine to spell out in a Hong Kong Free Press think piece
As Beijing tries to export [Mainland China's] Health Code scheme to Hong Kong, it is sending a Trojan horse disguised as health policy. Hong Kong is an open society with robust professional bodies and a developed medical system forged through its SARS experience.  It has no place for an ineffective and unethical app such as the one suggested under the Health Code scheme.  Our low mortality rate and flattening Covid-19 case number curve are proof. The only reason to export the scheme to Hong Kong is to crush professional ethics, break trust, and place a once free people under total state surveillance.
Also noted in the same piece is that: "The Health Code scheme is a new export product from mainland China – a technology not proposed by the medical profession, but stemming from the Chinese Social Credit system."  Consequently, as suggested in its very title: "Medical workers must resist a totalitarian move to crush professional ethics disguised as health policy."  To protect the political, psychological and physicial health of all Hong Kong and prevent it from going further along the slippery slope to becoming another Xinjiang.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Legal arenas are (also) protest arenas in Hong Kong these days

It looks calm after the storm (but) the spectre of the security 
law, bureau and associated remain to darken moods

Is justice still guarded -- or is it more a case of the courts
being policed these days --in Hong Kong?

Despite being conferred T9 status for a few hours, Typhoon Higos turned out to be a bit of a damp squid -- especially compared to the mighty Mangkhut which blew through Hong Kong in September 2018 and thoroughly justified its T10 status.  Even though it was still a serious T8 when I woke up yesterday morning, it didn't seem noticeably windier or wetter than a non-typhoon rain storm -- and, unlike with Mangkhut, it didn't seem to leave that much debris or damage in its wake.  

So life returned to normal pretty quickly yesterday -- well, as normal as things can be during these pandemic and security law times.  On the Wuhan coronavirus front: touch wood but things are indeed looking up -- with the number of new daily cases continuing on a downslide; with Hong Kong reporting 26 yesterday and a six-week low of 18 new infections today.  So it's back to worrying and fixating most on threats to freedoms -- and for the record, recently released results of the latest Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) poll shows that those surveyed reckon that the degrees of freedom, prosperity, compliance with the rule of law, stability and democracy (which collectively are described as the "five core social indicators") in Hong Kong are at the lowest level since June 1997.

The fact of the matter is that we really don't need to look all that far to find the reasons for many Hong Kongers' fears and dissatisfaction.  In addition to the much publicized threats to press freedom (that were made abundantly clear for the world to see last week),  we are also seeing a clamping down on freedom in the education sector that could well see a mass exodus of international school teachers as well as eminent university professors.  Throw in the sense that the legal system as Hong Kongers have long known it is also under threat and it's easy enough to understand how there has come to be a growing and pervasive fear felt by Hong Kongers (even while defiance and resilience undoubtedly remain) that makes it now a very different Hong Kong from even just a few months ago.     

With opposition having largely moved away from mass street protests to other means, the courts have become key arenas to contest a large number of protest- and rights-related cases and issues.  Sometimes, there have been victories; other times defeats; and at still other times, decisions that fail to completely satisfy either camp (and consequently get appealed and turn into cases that run and run and run)

In addition there also are those times when attempted contests are stopped before they can even get into court -- like Legislative Councillor Ted Hui's crowdfunded private prosecution against a police officer who shot a student in the abdomen from close range with live ammunition in Sai Wan Ho last November 11th.  Earlier this week, Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng (whose net -53 percent unpopularity rivals Carrie Lam's net -54 percent!) intervened to have the case blocked and dropped.  And she's done the same thing with another legal proceeding that Ted Hui (who is in possession of legal credentials too, by the way) initiated: this one against a taxi driver accused of ramming protesters with his vehicle in Sham Shui Po last October. 

As historian Jeppe Mulich suggested in a Tweet, "Teresa Cheng is working hard to block every avenue for accountability left in Hong Kong."  For his part, Ted Hui reckons that "Teresa Cheng's action is overriding the rule of law with rule of man"; a statement that got me recalling lawyer Kevin Yam's fatalistic comments about the security law back on June 21st: "Don’t analyse the #HongKong National Security Law. There’s nothing to analyse. It’s just whatever they say it is. And if they cannot make it whatever they say it is when they want something, they will just change it in whatever way they like. End of story."   

To be sure, it can still look at times like the wheels of justice are still running in Hong Kong.   For example, it's been announced this evening that six more men have been on suspicion of rioting and conspiracy to wound in connection with the mob attack at Yuen Long MTR station on July 21st, 2019; bringing the total number of people arrested in relation to that horrific event up to 43.  Here's the thing though: more than a year later, only seven of those individuals have been charged -- and, if I'm not mistaken, no one has been found guilty and sent to jail for their crimes.  Actually, I'm not sure whether any Yuen Long attacker has spent any (significant amount of) time in custody.

On the other hand, Tong Ying-kit, the first person charged under China's draconian security law for Hong Kong -- arrested on the first full day that the law went into effect this past July 1st -- has been held in custody all this time since he was denied bailTomorrow will see the High Court ruling on whether he has been detained lawfully after his lawyers filed a writ of habeus corpus.  How the decision goes should tell us how successful Hong Kong's lawyers can be in their efforts to make sure that justice (still) will be served in Hong Kong.

More than incidentally, the head of Tony Ying-kit's legal team is Philip Dykes.  Apart from being the current head of the Bar Association,  he is on the record as worrying that the national security law "sounds like a reverse engineering of the ill-fated extradition bill. Rather than you going to the mainland, the mainland comes to you."  Tomorrow's court decision could well give (further) credence to his suggestion.