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Hong Kong student gets five-years for Telegram ‘secession’ messages

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A Hong Kong judge increased a university student's jail sentence to five years for messages sent on Telegram advocating the city's independence from China and calls to resist communist rule

A Hong Kong judge increased a university student’s jail sentence to five years for messages sent on Telegram advocating the city’s independence from China and calls to resist communist rule – Copyright AFP DENIS CHARLET

A Hong Kong judge increased a university student’s jail sentence to five years on Friday for messages sent on Telegram advocating the city’s independence from China and calls to resist communist rule.

Lui Sai-yu, a 25-year-old engineering student, pleaded guilty to “incitement to secession”, a crime under the national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020 to crush dissent.

Lui is the fourth person jailed under the law, while over 100 other prosecutions are ongoing.

District judge Amanda Woodcock said Lui’s posts — sent to a channel on messaging app Telegram — showed he “condoned, promoted, advocated and incited others to commit secession or undermine national unification”.

The court earlier heard that Lui’s messages include “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” — a protest slogan now deemed illegal.

Hong Kong’s national security law imposes minimum jail terms for serious offences, a feature rarely seen in the city’s common law tradition.

Woodcock initially jailed Lui for 44 months — factoring in a sentence reduction due to his guilty plea — but prosecutors called for a harsher punishment, arguing the minimum penalty for secession under the security law was no less than five years.

The judge then amended the sentence.

Defence lawyer Edwin Choy said Woodcock’s original punishment had already reflected the seriousness of the crime.

Choy told the court that the prosecutors’ proposal of a harsher sentence “might not seem the fairest way to deal with this young man”.

Georgetown University legal scholar Eric Lai called the sentencing “bizarre”, reflecting the tension between the security law and Hong Kong’s existing criminal justice system.

The security law has created a class of special courts and local judges have not remedied such “disturbing practices”, Lai wrote on Twitter.

Lui was first arrested in September 2020, when police raided his flat and found a pepper ball gun, two knives, a baton and protective gear associated with democracy protesters.

Lui’s weapon charges were later dropped as part of a plea deal.

AFP has contacted the Department of Justice for comment but has so far not gotten a response.

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

While talent matters, the good news is we all learn at basically the same rate–and can “learn anything we want.” Think you don’t have the talent for entrepreneurship? For leadership? For programming, for design… for whatever pursuit you may want to, um, pursue? According to HubSpot co-founder …

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How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners [Infographic]

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How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners [Infographic]

Are you a small business owner or marketing manager, just getting started on building your social media strategy? Need to learn the basics before launching your first social media campaign?

In this infographic, Sprout Social shares social media tips broken down as follows:

  • Who uses social media?
  • What does social media do for you?
  • Define your goals
  • Targeting your audience
  • Choosing a platform
  • Social media metrics

Check out the infographic below to learn more.

How to Successfully Use Social Media: A Small Business Guide for Beginners

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Moore Digital Names Two Executives To Serve Nonprofit Fundraisers 02/07/2023

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Moore Digital Names Two Executives To Serve Nonprofit Fundraisers 02/07/2023

Moore Digital, which assists nonprofit clients with fundraising, has named Adva Priso as chief strategy officer and Bonnie Huey as senior vice president of
digital media.

They are joining a team of “more than 70 top digital experts from across the for-profit and nonprofit industries, including strategists,
media planners and …



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