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Three Arrested in Hong Kong for Allegedly Insulting Chinese National Anthem

Three Hong Kong citizens were arrested on June 6 at a football stadium for allegedly insulting the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China.

The World Cup Asian qualifying match between Hong Kong and Iran was held at the Hong Kong Stadium on the night of the June 6. As is customary, the Chinese national anthem was played before the match.

The police stated that during the playing of the national anthem, the three arrested individuals either turned their backs to the field or did not stand up, violating Hong Kong’s National Anthem Ordinance. They were subsequently removed from the stadium and arrested.

The case is currently under investigation by Hong Kong’s Serious Crime Team. All three individuals have been released on bail and will have to report to the police early next month.

After the 2014 “Occupy Central” movement in Hong Kong, the city saw a local rise in anti-China sentiment. During international football matches, large groups of fans would boo during the Chinese national anthem.

In June 2020, the “National Anthem Ordinance” came into effect, criminalizing improper use of the national anthem as well as the public, intentional insult of the anthem. The ordinance stipulates that insulting the national anthem can result in a HK$50,000 fine or 3 years imprisonment.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), June 7, 2024