Media Censorship

Hong Kong Appeals Court Bans Popular Protest Song, Raising Concerns Over Freedom of Expression

Main image to the post Hong Kong Appeals Court Bans Popular Protest Song, Raising Concerns Over Freedom of Expression

This week, an appeals court in Hong Kong overturned a previous ruling and approved the government's plea to prohibit the song "Glory to Hong Kong," raising alarm about the ongoing erosion of freedoms in the city. The anthem-like song, which became a symbol of resistance during the 2019 anti-government demonstrations, has been a poignant expression of dissent that resonated with many residents.

Critics have expressed concerns that the ban on the song represents a further restriction on freedom of expression as Beijing continues its crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong following the mass protests. The court's decision to ban the song encompasses not only its dissemination but also actions that might misrepresent it as the national anthem, signaling the government's intent to suppress any form of advocacy for Hong Kong's autonomy.

Judge Jeremy Poon, in his ruling supporting the ban, emphasized the emotional impact the song has had on some residents and described it as a "weapon" in stirring sentiments among the populace. The ban extends to those who use the song to promote separatist ideologies, with the threat of fines or imprisonment for non-compliance with the court order. However, exceptions are made for playing the song in accordance with lawful journalistic and academic activities, highlighting a narrow scope for its permissible usage in certain contexts.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09