This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 20 °C Friday 7 August, 2020
Advertisement

New Hong Kong law bans insults to China's national anthem

Today protesters defied a ban against a mass vigil commemorating the Tienanmen anniversary.

A man stands next to police as people gather to mourn those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown at victory park in Causeway Bay.
A man stands next to police as people gather to mourn those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown at victory park in Causeway Bay.
Image: Kin Cheung

HONG KONG’S LEGISLATURE has voted for a Beijing-backed law banning insults to China’s national anthem.

Lawmakers approved the bill with 41 in favour and one against, but the 75-seat chamber’s pro-democracy faction refused to vote and instead shouted slogans denouncing the law.

Today marks the 31st anniversary of China sending tanks and troops to crush pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Protesters have defied a coronavirus ban against a mass vigil commemorating the anniversary of China’s Tiananmen crackdown to enter a landmark city park.

Around one hundred people entered Victoria Park after surrounding barriers were toppled, and began massing on football pitches inside, chanting slogans while holding candles.

Opponents to the ban on insults to China’s national anthem rallied around the symbolism of the timing. One lawmaker threw a foul-smelling liquid on the legislature’s floor in a bid to halt proceedings.

Others gave impassioned speeches denouncing the law, which carries up to three years in prison and fines for anyone who insults the “March of the Volunteers”. 

“If you want people to respect the national anthem, I’m afraid you have chosen the wrong approach, it is counter-productive,” pro-democracy lawmaker Wu Chi-wai said during the debate.

Wu quoted the first line of the anthem, a revolutionary call to arms that declares: “Arise ye who refuse to be slaves.” 

Hong Kong’s government has rejected the idea the anthem law restricts political freedoms, saying many other nations have similar laws.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

“Some people said this is a vicious law and will suppress our freedom of speech. That does not exist at all,” Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Minister Erick Tsang told reporters after the vote. 

He said people would only be prosecuted if they “openly and deliberately” insulted the anthem.

- © AFP 2020.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (27)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel