Authorities in Hong Kong arrested a man who booed China’s national anthem during a public showing of the Olympics.
As spectators gathered in a Hong Kong shopping mall to watch a broadcast of the Games, some booed the Chinese anthem or chanted “We are Hong Kong” during the medaling ceremony for fencing. A 40-year-old man was arrested as a result.
Police said his alleged aim was to “incite hatred and politicize sports,” and that his conduct, taken as a whole, may have insulted the national anthem. The man identified himself as a journalist, police added.
“The police have launched an investigation into the incident and will collect relevant evidence,” police earlier told Reuters.
The Guardian adds that the man was also caught waving a British colonial-era Hong Kong flag while urging others to join him.
The arrest comes days after Hong Kong sentenced a man who had participated in pro-democracy protests to nine years in prison — the first such sentencing under the Chinese Communist Party’s Hong Kong National Security Law. Enacted on June 30 of last year, the statute increases penalties for purported “secession” and “subversion,” gutting civil liberties for residents of Hong Kong.
In July, police arrested five people who had published pro-democracy children’s books.
AFP News explained:
The first book, titled “Guardians of Sheep Village” explains the 2019 pro-democracy protests that swept through Hong Kong.
“Janitors of Sheep Village”, the second book, sees cleaners in the village go on strike to force out wolves who leave litter everywhere.
The final book in the trilogy — “The 12 Braves of Sheep Village” — is about a group of sheep who flee their village by boat because of the wolves.
As Hong Kong cracks down on citizens who voice dissent to the Chinese Communist Party, the Biden administration warned Americans that the National Security Law places them at risk. A statement from the White House said that Hong Kong’s police have arrested foreigners under the National Security Law, including one American.
The administration also warned about police “using expanded legal authorities to collect data from businesses and individuals in Hong Kong for actions” that may violate “national security.” Hong Kong authorities “have, to date, interpreted ‘national security’ to include participating in primary elections, calling for political steps specifically protected by the Basic Law, posting opinions on social media, and meeting with members of the diplomatic community.”
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