Hong Kong: bid to ban protest anthem backfires

The Hong Kong Department of Justice applied to the Special Administrative Region's High Court on June 5 for an injunction to prohibit any performance or online dissemination of the song "Glory to Hong Kong," anthem of the 2019 protest movement. The government asserts that the song contains secessionist lyrics and constitutes an insult to the Chinese national anthem, "March of the Volunteers." The action seeks to remove 32 YouTube videos, asserting that they breach multiple laws in Hong Kong and China, including the National Security Law, the Crimes Ordinance and the National Anthem Ordinance.

However, thousands of Hong Kong citizens responded to the government's move by gathering in public to sing the song, in defiance of an ongoing ban on protests. It also shot to the top of the iTunes charts. On June 12, Judge Wilson Chan postponed deciding on the petition until next month, finding it potentially overbroad and asking the government to be more specific on the breadth of its request. (Jurist, NYT, EuroNews, HKFP, Bloomberg)

Hong Kong: prison for insulting Chinese national anthem

Hong Kong's Eastern Magistrate Court sentenced photographer Cheng Wing-chun to three months prison on July 20 for violating the National Anthem Ordinance. Cheng purportedly insulted the Chinese national anthem by replacing the anthem with "Glory to Hong Kong" in a video that featured Hong Kong fencer Edgar Cheung receiving an Olympic gold medal in 2021. (Jurist)

Hong Kong court refuses injunction of protest song

The High Court of Hong Kong refused the Justice Department’s application for an injunction to prohibit performance of the song "Glory to Hong Kong" on July 28.  Judge Anthony Chan held that an injunction against the song was not needed since Hong Kong already has "a robust criminal regime" in place. Chan also stated that an injunction would undermine freedom of speech. (Jurist)

Hong Kong court bans protest song

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal on May 8 granted an interlocutory injunction to restrain any activities associated with the protest song "Glory to Hong Kong." Justice Secretary Paul Lam stated that the injunction balanced the interest of national security and freedom of speech by narrowing the scope to activities with seditious intent and providing exemptions for academic and journalistic purposes. (Jurist)

YouTube blocks access to protest anthem in Hong Kong

YouTube said May 14 that it will comply with a court order to block users in Hong Kong from viewing a popular democracy anthem. Last week, a Hong Kong court granted a government request to ban the song, "Glory to Hong Kong," listing 32 links to videos on YouTube. (NYT