Hong Kong flag-waving ‘Captain America’ jailed for 11 years

This article is over 1 month old Cheung Chung-mung sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting Mao Zedong supporters A Hong Kong flag-carrying “Captain America” who courted the ire of pro-Beijing politicians has…

Hong Kong flag-waving 'Captain America' jailed for 11 years

This article is over 1 month old

Cheung Chung-mung sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting Mao Zedong supporters

A Hong Kong flag-carrying “Captain America” who courted the ire of pro-Beijing politicians has been sentenced to 11 years in prison under a government security law.

Wearing a badge declaring his solidarity with late Chinese Communist party founder Mao Zedong, Cheung Chung-mung set off a furore in July when he draped himself in the Hong Kong flag on a boat bound for the mainland.

The city’s authorities declined to give permission for his annual trip to the historic tongren, or coastal plain, to attend a local festival, forcing Cheung, 50, to make an alternative excursion, by boat.

He was spotted by young pro-Beijing activists, who were infuriated by what they saw as an endorsement of the party founder, whom they regard as a symbol of Communist brutality.

When he was arrested they took his surrender note and it read: “I’m begging you, please no retribution please!”

As Cheung watched the sentencing in the rundown central magistrate’s court, relatives shouted “We love you” and “Free Li Huashan”. Li is an organiser of the “Hong Kong Federation of Students”. Li was a student leader at the Occupy movement, which protested in 2014 against Chinese rule.

Judge Craig See passed sentence saying Cheung “willfully disobeyed lawful authority in contravention of the public security legislation”.

Wearing a black suit and with his hair dyed black and his green t-shirt emblazoned with the words “Comrade”, Cheung was defiant in court.

“No matter what the punishment is, we will keep fighting. In terms of protest we need to keep on fighting, because it has only been a few years,” Cheung said.

The Federation of Students welcomed the sentence.

“The final result in this highly anticipated trial sends a very clear message that citizens cannot carry out illegal protests in Hong Kong. This must not happen again,” its president, Alex Chow, said.

Cheung’s 20-year-old daughter said she would appeal. “In choosing a winning strategy to fight for what he believes in, he has paid a very high price. I hope I can gain the understanding of the court,” she said.

The Hong Kong Bar Association said Cheung “has brought disgrace on the profession and should not have been tolerated”.

Leave a Comment