Hong Kong steps up crackdown on Cantopop stars

Hong Kong District Court judge Ernest Lin Kam-hung handed down a judgment Aug. 31 sentencing Tommy Yuen Man-on, a former Cantopop boy-band member, to 26 months imprisonment. Yuen was convicted of "acts with seditious intention" among other charges. Lin found that Yuen made seditious statements on Facebook and Instagram in 2021, including posts about the death of a marine police officer, injuries suffered by then Chief Executive Carrie Lam after a fall, and cases of officer misconduct. Lin asserted that Yuen had been insulting Hong Kong's government and implicitly advocating for Hong Kong independence.

Lin also found that Yuen and his wife had been taking advantage of his fame to raise money through crowd-funding and "manipulate others' sympathy," as translated by a local news outlet.

Yuen was given a sentence of 39 months, which was then reduced by one-third to 26 months, as he had pled guilty in July.

Yuen was well known as a member of the Cantopop boy group E-kids, which was disbanded in 2006. He had been active in the 2019 anti-extradition protests, while Lin won a reputation for his harsh sentences handed down to protesters. 

Frpm Jurist, Sept. 3. Used with permission.

This is not the first time Hong Kong authorities have targeted Canto-pop stars.