ON JULY 27TH a juryless court in Hong Kong convicted Tong Ying-kit, a 24-year-old waiter, of terrorism and inciting secession. He was the first to be found guilty under a sweeping national-security law, introduced last year. Just after the bill took effect, Mr Tong had ridden a motorcycle while displaying a flag saying “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Times”, and had crashed into several policemen. In effect, the ruling has criminalised the most popular slogan used by anti-government protesters in 2019.

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This article appeared in the China section of the print edition under the headline “Tough justice”