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Activist Tong Ying-kit arrives at the West Kowloon court in Hong Kong in 2020. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Tong Ying-kit, the first person to be charged and tried under Hong Kong's national security law was found guilty of terrorism and inciting secession by three judges Tuesday, per Bloomberg. The 24-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Why it matters: The law passed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party last year carries the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. In a departure from the Asian financial hub's common law traditions, Tong was denied a jury trial.

  • Instead, security law judges are selected by Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam.

Details: The charges stem from allegations that he drove his motorcycle into police officers while carrying a protest flag stating "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times" on July 1 last year — which prosecutors labeled "secessionist," Reuters notes.

  • The incident was alleged to have taken place one day after Beijing imposed the security law on Hong Kong after the former British colony saw months of massive pro-democracy protests.

Go deeper: Beijing's national security law takes a toll in Hong Kong

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Aug 24, 2021 - Axios Tampa Bay

Prosecutors want to take police conduct off the table at Tampa BLM protesters' trial

Photo: Chandler Cullotta c/o Creative Loafing Tampa Bay

The peaceful nature of protests and acts of law enforcement against protesters might be banned from discussion in an upcoming Tampa trial for last year's Fourth of July Black Lives Matter protesters.

  • What's happening: Creative Loafing's Justin Garcia reports that State Attorney Andrew Warren’s office motioned last week to restrict what can be discussed during the proceedings.

Why it matters: Creative Loafing's reporting tells a starkly different story of the day than what prosecutors may be trying to portray at trial.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.