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Activist found guilty of desecrating H.K. flag.

HONG KONG, Feb. 23 Kyodo

A Hong Kong political activist was found guilty of defiling the territory's regional flag and placed on a HK$3,000 (US$385) good behavior bond for 12 months by a magistrate's court Friday.

Leung Kwok-hung, 44, popularly known as ''Long Hair'' and a leading member of the radical political April 5th Action Group, was convicted of three counts of desecrating the Hong Kong flag by ''publicly and willfully'' defiling it.

Leung, the third person charged with and found guilty of flag desecration since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from the British administration in 1997, must now keep out of trouble for the next year or he will be fined.

It is against the law in Hong Kong to desecrate China's national flag or the territory's regional flag.

Leung said the flag legislation should be amended to ensure the public's freedom and right of expression.

The activist argued that he only expressed his dissatisfaction with Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and his administration by painting slogans in black on the flag during two peaceful demonstrations last July, which did not pose a threat to national security or public order.

But the magistrate, Eddy Yip, disagreed with Leung's grounds, citing a ruling by Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal in 1999 on a similar case, which upheld convictions of two other activists for defacing the Chinese national flag and the territory's flag.

Last May, Leung was jailed for 14 days for contempt after he shouted anti-government slogans during a session of the legislature.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Feb 26, 2001
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