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Hong Kong Bans Pro-Democracy Protest Anthem, Saying It Has Been Used as a ‘Weapon’

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Hong Kong’s government will be able to outlaw the famous protest anthem “Glory to Hong Kong” after a court of appeal overturned a ruling last year that permitted its use.

Judges on Wednesday said that the song had been used as a “weapon,” making it dangerous to authorities if played in public settings. The verdict raises growing concerns about the erosion of freedom in Hong Kong in recent years.

The judges ruled that the song can still be played for “academic” or “news” purposes.

The song, which is sung in the city’s native Cantonese dialect, became an unofficial protest anthem of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in 2019 and includes lyrics such as “Liberate Hong Kong.” It was been banned in schools since 2020.

Read More: China Is Cracking Down on Cantonese Language Advocacy in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is part of China but has had some autonomy since the British handover in 1997. A 2019 extradition law that would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China prompted mass demonstrations.

The bill was ultimately withdrawn but Hong Kong authorities have jailed hundreds of opposition party members and cracked down on media outlets since. In 2020, Hong Kong also passed a so-called “National Security Law” that criminalized any public speech calling for Hong Kong’s succession from China.

Hong Kong’s parliament unanimously passed a tough new national security law in March that critics say will lead to a further erosion of democracy.

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