By BRITT CLENNETT, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — While Hong Kong’s new national security law may have caused some well-known activists to flee the city or censor what they say, Joshua Wong appears to be standing his ground.
“We will never give up and surrender to Beijing,” said Wong today outside a court where he pleaded not guilty to charges related to a pro-democracy protest last year.
His fellow activist, Agnes Chow, pleaded guilty.
It’s the second time Wong has faced the public since the controversial law was passed late on June 30.
The legislation covers secession, subversion and terrorism, with a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Despite authorities arguing it will only impact a small group of people in Hong Kong, Wong said, “it’s affecting the daily life of Hong Kongers.”
That’s as Hong Kong authorities confirm that some public library books, including one co-authored by Wong, are being reviewed to see whether they violate the law.
Another prominent Hong Kong activist, Nathan Law, fled the city last week over fears he would be targeted. Law has vowed to continue to garner international support for Hong Kong from abroad.
Beijing has argued that the law is required to curtail the unrest that gripped the city for months last year but critics say it erodes the freedoms that are meant to be safeguarded in the ‘‘One Country Two Systems” framework made when the city was handed back to China from Britain in 1997.
Meanwhile, the first person to be charged under the national security law was denied bail today and will next appear in court on October 6, meaning they could be remanded for three months.
The Hong Kong resident was arrested after allegedly driving a motorcycle into police during protests on July 1.
He was carrying a banner with a political slogan that is now outlawed.
He’s among 10 people so far arrested for allegedly violating the wide-ranging law that has raised fear among Hong Kong citizens.
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