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.
Listen on the go
Get The Economist app and play articles, wherever you are
This article appeared in the China section of the print edition under the headline “Tough justice”