[Global Times] the Shatin magistracy of Hong Kong ruled on a case of insulting the national flag. The defendant was convicted of publicly and deliberately insulting the national flag in the way of damaging, defiling and trampling, but was only sentenced to 200 hours of social service order. Hong Kong media, public organizations and former chief executive Tony Leung publicly questioned that the sentence was too light, which was tantamount to conniving at similar crimes.
The defendant, Luo mincong, is a 21-year-old apprentice of air-conditioner technician. Masked demonstrators removed the flag from the flagpole of the Great Hall of Shatin on September 22 and then sprayed it black, Hong Kongs Star Island Daily reported Wednesday. Later, the defendant and other demonstrators walked to the atrium on the third floor of the square with the national flag, threw the national flag into the garbage truck with the flag and the car and pushed it to the Shatin park pool, then someone picked up the national flag and threw it into the Chengmen river. On the night of the incident, the defendant was arrested by the police and admitted under the warning that he had committed a crime of playing for fun. Case 29 sentence in Shatin court. Magistrate Li Zhihao said that the nature of the case is serious, but there is no sentencing guidance for the crime of insulting the national flag. Considering the positive reports of the defendants first offence, confession, family support, probation and social service order, and the fact that the case does not involve more serious circumstances of burning the national flag, the sentencing starting point is the 160 hour social service order proposed by the probation officer, so the number of hours is increased to reflect the seriousness of the crime. Sentenced to 200 hours of social service. In addition, the defendant is now an apprentice of air-conditioner technician, and the employer has a positive evaluation on him, on time, responsible and good relationship with colleagues, and the employer is willing to allocate the defendants work and accommodate his social service order.
When the verdict came out, Hong Kong was full of public outcry. Liang Zhenying, a former chief executive and vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, said on social networking site on Tuesday that the verdict must cause nationwide public outrage. Since the magistrate said there was no sentencing guidelines, the Justice Department must appeal. At the same time, he mentioned that earlier, someone had been sentenced to four weeks for smearing the outer wall of the U.S. Consulate General. Lu Ruian, vice chairman of Hong Kong China Travel International Investment Co., Ltd., said the verdict was too outrageous, stressing that someone who only smeared the outer wall of the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong had been sentenced to four weeks in prison. This time, the seriousness of insulting the national flag was far greater than the former, questioning the double standards of Hong Kong judicial personnel. He said: in turbulent times, we need to use heavy code. As for the continuous occurrence of insulting the national flag, the service order has no deterrent effect, which is tantamount to connivance. This is the fall of justice! the Department of justice must appeal the case, or the insulting of the national flag will continue to spread like an infectious disease. Jian Songnian, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese peoples Political Consultative Conference who is a lawyer himself, pointed out that in cases involving insulting the national flag in foreign countries, the defendants are generally sentenced to at least one or two months imprisonment, otherwise they will not have the deterrent force. The judges are so lenient to the thugs, reflecting that the judicial staff in Hong Kong do not think insulting the national flag, which symbolizes national sovereignty, is an important thing, reflecting their weak national concept and their respect for the country I dont care. In his opinion, compared with the judgment of smearing the American Consulate General in Hong Kong, the judges judgment is equivalent to self dwarfing. Ma Anguo, a barrister and chairman of the Hong Kong law exchange foundation, also said that the maximum penalty for the crime of criminal damage is 10 years in prison. In this case, the judge only sentenced the damaged national flag as a dead object, ignoring that the national flag is a symbol of national dignity. Hong Kong citizen group Hong Kong people in government petitioned the attorney general on the afternoon of the 30th to appeal. The head of the group said that compared with the graffiti case of the US consulate, the sentence made the public suspect that the judges sentencing guidelines had a strong personal political color and failed to make a fair decision.
Under the flag and national emblem Ordinance, any person who publicly and intentionally insults the flag or national emblem by burning, defacing, defiling or trampling on it shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of HK $50000 and to imprisonment for 3 years. Hong Kong, known as a rule of law city, has been sentenced to only 200 hours of social service orders in related cases, which is not without doubt and indignation, the Ta Kung Pao said Wednesday. In similar cases, a mainland tourist was sentenced to four weeks in prison immediately after scribbling in front of the US consulate. How can similar acts be so thick and so thin? In the eyes of the magistrates, can the American Consulate not be insulted, and the Chinese flag can be smeared and insulted without being punished? According to the article, it can be seen from the course of the incident that the defendant publicly, deliberately and maliciously insulted the national flag, not just for a while as he claimed; while insulting the national flag is insulting the national flag, so-called playing is not an acceptable reason, and the ruling of social service order in 200 hours will not only have any deterrent effect on similar crimes in the future, on the contrary As long as it doesnt burn, any insult to the national flag can be given a light sentence. What kind of message will it send to the society!
Source: Global Times Author: Ye Lan, editor in charge: Yu changzong, nbj11145