A 13-year-old girl has been put on probation for one year after she admitted to burning the Chinese flag during an anti-government protest in September.
On.cc reported that the girl was taking part in a “reclaim Tuen Mun Park” protest on Sept. 21 when protesters gathered outside Tuen Mun Town Hall and some took down the Chinese National flag from the flagpole.
The defendant and three other people started burning the flag with lighters. Officers arrived at the scene shortly afterwards and apprehended the girl.
She pleaded guilty to charges of desecrating the flag, which can carry as much as a three-year prison sentence.
In a mitigating statement to the court, lawyer Douglas Kwok said that his client had discussed her impulsive behavior with a probation officer and would express her views in a more respectful manner from now on.
The court was also presented letters from the girl’s schools attesting to her good nature and strong academic performance.
Magistrate Kelly Shui noted the positive probation report, and said that given that the anti-government protests have not calmed down yet, the girl needed to be mindful that it’s dangerous to be influenced by others and that she should consider the consequences of her actions.
She also added that if the girl commits a more serious offense in the future, she shouldn’t expect a lenient sentence because of her age.
Read more Hong Kong coverage at Coconuts HK.
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