Tony Chung Honlam (Chinese Zhong Han Lin; born 22 April 2001) was a Hong Kong pro independence activist. He was the founder of Student localism, a localist student group. He was arrested for violating the new national security law on 29 July 2020. He has also been charged in connection with money laundering and publication of seditious material.
Tony Chung Biography
Chung was born in Hong Kong, 2001. He was educated at the Buddhist Mau Fung Memorial College as well as the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. Chung’s political awakening was triggered by a small demonstration at the People’s Liberation Army headquarters, Central, in late 2013. He was 12 years old. He was 12 years old when he joined a small demonstration outside the People’s Liberation Army headquarters in Central in late 2013.
Tony Chung Early life
Student localism was founded
Chung and three secondary school students co-founded Studentlocalism shortly after April 2016’s election. They hoped to create an independent Hong Kong republic. Through the establishment of student concern groups, it aimed to promote independence on campus. At the end August 2016, there were 28 localist concern group formed in schools throughout the city.
Chung spoke out in 2017 to Hong Kong Free Press about why he supports Hong Kong independence. “I was born here. I grew up there. It’s not uncommon to see China’s situation – that is exactly why we don’t want our home to be the same as China. He also predicted that “In the next five year the national security laws may be enacted or I may face some offence… It is not a requirement for me to remain.”
Leung Chunying Leung, then Chief Executive, noticed the group and suggested that discussing separatism in schools was not a matter for freedom of speech. Students could be expelled from school for discussing it. Chung believed Leung was the one who put student groups on the map. Chung and other Studentlocalism leaders were “investigated” in the state-owned newspaper Wen Wei Po. Three retired police officers from the local area were also said to have shadowed him during a visit to Taiwan in 2019.
Participation in the 2019-2020 Anti-Extradition Protests
After Edward Leung and Chan Hotin (Hong Kong National Party) were banned from running for the 2016 Legislative Council elections, the group began to fall apart. The three co-founders from Studentlocalism also withdrew. The group was active again in the 2019-2020 antiextradition protests, where they attempted to organize some protests. Chung was also charged with damaging the Chinese flag in the Legislative Council’s protest area in May 2019.
Chung was released from Yuen Long Police Station, July 31, 2020.
Chung disbanded Studentlocalism on the eve before the passage of the national security legislation on 30 June and gave the authority to the overseas branches. They announced that the overseas branches would continue to operate in Australia, Taiwan, and the United States with divisions there. This will be until Hong Kong is an independent sovereign nation. Chung was arrested along with three other Studentlocalism members aged 16-21 on 29 July. They were suspected of inciting secession. Chung was allegedly arrested by police for posting social media content by the Initiative Independence Party, which claimed that it was founded by former Studentlocalism members based abroad. Chung was released without charge on 31 July after being placed on bail.
Chung was taken into custody by the Hong Kong national security unit of the Hong Kong Police. This was allegedly while Chung tried to apply for asylum at the consulate. Two other ex-members of Studentlocalism William Chan, Yanni Ho and another former member were also taken into police custody that afternoon. Chung was later charged with conspiring to publish seditious material and undermining national unity. Chung was denied bail and would remain in custody until his January 2021 court hearing.
Chung was convicted on 11 December 2020 of desecration of the Chinese flag, and also for participating in an illegal assembly related to the LegCo 14 May 2019 protest. Chung was sentenced to three-months for each of these charges and ordered to serve a total of four years behind bars. Chung is still facing pending charges for secession, money laundering and conspiracy to publish inseditious content.
Tony Chung, a Hong Kong activist, may plead guilty for secession and money laundering
Tony Chung, a Hong Kong activist, has been held in detention for more than a year. He may now admit to secession and money laundering after the defense reached a plea deal with the city’s prosecutor.
On Tuesday morning, the former convenor of Studentlocalism made his first appearance at the District Court. This was the first day of his seven-day-long trial. After the prosecution had presented 60 pages of an amended case summary to Chung’s attorneys shortly before the hearing, the hearing was rescheduled for Wednesday.
Senior Counsel Edwin Choy stated that he needed to review the summary of facts with Chung. District Judge Stanley Chan agreed that the court must be fair to the defense and give them time to take instructions.
Chung was the second Hong Kong person to be arrested under the Beijing-imposed security laws after his arrest in Oct last year. Chung, a former student leader, is now facing four charges, including conspiracy for publication of seditious material outlawed under the colonial-era Crimes Ordinance. He also faces secession and two counts money laundering.
The prosecution, led by Ivan Cheung, stated that Chung must plead guilty to secession and one money laundering offense. Otherwise, they will not proceed with the remaining charges. Chung’s formal plea on Wednesday will determine whether or not the activist accepts the prosecution’s case.