Two women were sentenced on Tuesday to up to seven months in prison for calling on others to breach anti-epidemic rules on social media.
Hau Wing-yan and Lam Yuen-yi, who owned a drinks shop in Mong Kok, were arrested in late February and accused of publishing seditious messages online urging others to flout Covid measures and not to get vaccinated.
The pair had pleaded guilty to one count of "doing an act or acts with seditious intention" at West Kowloon Court.
Principal Magistrate Peter Law, who is also a national security judge hand-picked by the Chief Executive, said the defendants' calls had not been based on science, and that they had purely wanted to express grievance and hate.
He noted Hau and Lam had made the calls online during a time when there was fear and anxiety over the pandemic situation, as well as division in society which had grown since the social unrest of 2019.
The magistrate jailed Hau for seven months to reflect her leading role in the case, while Lam was given six months in prison.