Hong Kong court bans protest anthem

Hong Kong, May 9: Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal on Wednesday granted an application by the government to ban a protest anthem called “Glory to Hong Kong”, overturning a lower court judgment that had rejected such a ban because of its possible “chilling effects” on free speech.
The ruling comes amid what critics say is an erosion in Hong Kong’s rule of law and individual rights amid a sweeping national security crackdown by Beijing that has jailed scores of opposition democrats and shut down liberal media outlets.
The case has implications for internet freedoms and the operations of firms including internet platform operators (IPOs) and technology firms such as Google.
Court of Appeal judges Jeremy Poon, Carlye Chu and Anthea Pang wrote that the composer of the protest song had intended it to be used as a weapon.

“In the hands of those with the intention to incite secession and sedition, the song can be deployed to arouse anti-establishment sentiments,” the judges wrote.

The judges added that “an injunction is necessary to persuade the IPOs to remove the problematic videos in connection with the song” from their platforms.

“Although the IPOs have not taken part in these proceedings, they have indicated that they are ready to accede to the Government’s request if there is a court order.”

Freewheeling Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, with the guarantee its freedoms would be preserved under a “one country, two systems” formula.