Hong Kong court rejects gov’t request to ban popular protest song | Hong Kong Protests News


Choose says banning the 2019 mass protest tune, Glory to Hong Kong, would have ‘chilling results’ on freedom of expression.

A court docket in Hong Kong has declined a authorities request to ban the protest tune, Glory to Hong Kong, in a landmark choice that rejects a problem to freedom of expression within the metropolis.

The federal government’s utility for an injunction got here after Glory to Hong Kong was performed mistakenly at a number of worldwide sporting occasions, together with rugby and ice hockey competitions, as a substitute of China’s nationwide anthem March of the Volunteers.

China-ruled Hong Kong doesn’t have its personal anthem however as a Chinese language territory since its return from British rule in 1997, it makes use of China’s anthem.

The protest tune was extensively sung and performed in the course of the metropolis’s pro-democracy protests in 2019. It was later deemed illegal after China imposed a nationwide safety legislation on the monetary hub as a part of a crackdown on dissent.

In a written judgement rejecting the injunction on Friday, Excessive Courtroom Choose Anthony Chan wrote: “The court docket recognised the engagement of the proper to freedom of expression within the consideration of this utility”, whereas noting “chilling results” that is likely to be generated if the injunction was granted.

“It’s in no way over-stretched to envisage that completely harmless individuals would distance themselves from what could also be lawful acts involving the tune for worry of trespassing the injunction which has extreme penalties,” Chan added.

“I can’t be happy that it’s simply and handy to grant the injunction. This utility is accordingly dismissed.”

Protesters sing Glory to Hong Kong outside of Polytechnic University (PolyU) while police keep it under siege in Hong Kong, China
Protesters sing Glory to Hong Kong outdoors a college in Hong Kong [File: Leah Millis/Reuters]

When the federal government first utilized to the court docket for a complete ban on the tune in June, the tune was quickly taken down from a number of on-line music streaming platforms together with iTunes and Spotify.

Hong Kong officers had additionally criticised Google for refusing to vary its search outcomes to show China’s nationwide anthem as a substitute of Glory to Hong Kong when customers looked for Hong Kong’s nationwide anthem.

A senior Hong Kong official, Solar Dong, mentioned earlier this month that Google had informed the federal government to first show that the tune violated native legal guidelines – thus prompting the authorized utility.

Google father or mother Alphabet gave no speedy response to Reuters information company’s request for touch upon the judgement. It was not instantly clear whether or not authorities would attraction the choice.

The Hong Kong Journalists Affiliation (HKJA), which had opposed the federal government injunction bid, welcomed the choice.

“Exercising public energy would create a chilling impact, threatening harmless individuals,” HKJA head Ronson Chan informed reporters outdoors the court docket. “I believe the judgement may be very cheap.”

Based on a writ seen by Reuters, the federal government sought to ban the efficiency and dissemination of the tune, together with its variations, melody, lyrics; and likewise on-line, together with on YouTube, saying it was an insult to China’s nationwide anthem.

Glory to Hong Kong was composed in 2019 when town was convulsed by months-long protests that drew hundreds of thousands of individuals towards tightening Chinese language management of the freewheeling metropolis.

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