“Glory to Hong Kong” banned by appeals court judging it a ‘weapon’

The song can no longer be broadast or performed “with criminal intent”, or disseminated or reproduced on internet-based platforms, though the injunction contained exceptions for “academic activity and news activity” — a tweak the government made after earlier questioning by judges.

The judgement said an injunction order was “necessary” because internet platform operators “indicated that they are ready to accede to the Government’s request if there is a court order”.  

Industry group Asia Internet Coalition, representing tech gians such as Google and Spotify, said it was assessing the implications of the decision “to determine its impact on businesses”. 

“We believe that a free and open internet is fundamental to the city’s ambitions to become an international technology and innovation hub,” said the group’s managing director Jeff Paine.

Soon after the judgement was handed down, Beijing authorities said the ban was a “necessary” for “safeguarding national security”.


Hong Kong-based cybersecurity expert Anthony Lai explained that if a platform was to comply with the ban, they would have to ensure the song cannot have a Hong Kong IP address or Hong Kong users cannot access the song.

“I understand the government’s need to defend national security, but I worry it would take up too much of their resources to police the whole internet,” Lai told AFP. 

After the ban was announced, a few YouTube links of the song — listed in Wednesday’s judgement document — appeared to be inaccessible, though many others remained up.

Lam insisted the ban did not hurt the city’s free speech.

“Free flow of information is of crucial importance to Hong Kong,” he said, adding “we are concerned with very specific unlawful behaviours”.

Amnesty International’s director for China, Sarah Brooks, decried the ban as “ludicrous” and “dangerous”, representing “a senseless attack on Hongkongers’ freedom of expression” which “violates international human rights law”. 

The United States also slammed the ban, with State Department spokesman Matthew Miller saying the move represented “the latest blow to the international reputation of a city that previously prided itself on having an independent judiciary protecting the free exchange of information, ideas and goods”.

Since 2020, after the protests were quashed and Beijing’s national security law enacted, public dissent has largely been absent. The bulk of pro-democracy activists and opposition politicians have either been arrested, silenced, or fled Hong Kong. 

SOURCE: CNA (Channelnewsasia.com) RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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