Hong Kong police arrested a man who played harmonica in Queen's vigil under suspicion of sedition

World | Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 11:50 PM

A man was arrested in Hong Kong, suspected of sedition after playing the harmonica during a vigil for Queen Elizabeth II, under a law of the colonial era which once prohibited to insult the Queen - And has now been relaunched by the authorities in the midst of an in progress repression.

A version of this story appeared in CNN in the CNN bulletin in China, an update of three times a week exploring what you need to know about the rise of the country and how it has an impact on the world. Register here. Hong Kong (CNN) A Man was arrested in Hong Kong on Suspicion of Sedition After Playing the Harmonica at a Vigil for Queen Elizabeth II, Under a Colonial-Era Law that Once Outlawed Insulting The Queen-And Has Now Been Revived by Authorities Amid a repression in progress. Videos published on social media show hundreds of people gathering in front of the city's British consulate on Monday evening to pay tribute to the queen, because her funeral took place in London - a heavy event with political significance in the old British colony, where the crying has become a subtle form of protest. Many broadcast the funeral procession live on their phones, while others have held candles and laid flowers on a commemorative site. A video shows a man playing on his harmonica the song "Glory to Hong Kong", a protest hymn created during the depths of the pro-democracy and antiganian protest that rocked the city in 2019. More than 2,500 people aligned themselves to offer condolences to Queen Elizabeth II outside the British consulate in Hong Kong on September 12, 2022. The catchy ballad, which includes words such as "for Hong Kong, May Freedom Reign", has become a hymn of the pro-democracy movement and the performance of it have been seen millions of times on YouTube. During the vigil on Tuesday, crowds agitated iPhone flashlights in darkness and sang to the harmonica, some starting a song that has also become synonymous with demonstrations: "Hong Kong, add oil ". The photos then show that police arriving and escorting the man in their van. When CNN questioned the police on the harmonica player, they replied that a 43-year-old man nicknamed Pang had been arrested that evening around 9:30 p.m. he was suspected of having committed acts of sedition sedition And was detained for interrogation - then released on deposit awaiting investigation, the police announced. He will have to present himself to the police at the end of November. The Hong Kong Sedition Act is part of an order of crimes of 1938, formerly used by the colonial government to target pro -Chinese groups and publications - in particular after the arrival of the Chinese Communist Party in power and during anti-government manifestations in 1967. He originally defined sedition as a speech that led to a "hatred or contempt" against the Queen, his heirs or the government of Hong Kong. The law had remained unused for decades until it was relaunched in 2020 - in addition to the introduction by Beijing of a law on national security, which targets secession, subversion, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist activities. A conviction under the Sedition Act includes a maximum sentence of two years. The renewal of the law - and its use in the midst of a broader repression of the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities - has aroused criticism from activists and humanitarian organizations around the world. In July, the UN Human Human Rights Committee urged Hong Kong to repeal the Sédition Act, claiming that this could limit the "legitimate law of citizens to freedom of expression". The Hong Kong Government has repeatedly denied that the Sedition Act or the National Security Act - which has been used to stop activists, journalists, demonstrators and former elected legislators - present any risk for freedoms people. The Sedition law "is not supposed to silence the expression of an opinion which only makes real criticisms against the government on the basis of objective facts," he said in response to the UN , adding that the national security law "quickly and effectively restored stability and security" after the 2019 demonstrations. Mourning as a protest The repression saw the regular erosion of civil freedoms in what was once a city in a freewheel with an independent press and a rich culture of protest. Most pro-democracy groups have dissolved, their leaders imprisoned or forced exile, and mass manifestations are almost prohibited. Without traditional protest avenues - people have now been arrested for publications on social networks and even for the publication of children's children's books - the Queen's death emerged this month as an unexpected opportunity. The colonial flag of Hong Kong and the images of Queen Elizabeth are placed before the British consulate in Hong Kong on September 12. By celebrating the monarchy and its symbols, some Hong Kongers see an opportunity for a veiled excavation both in the Chinese Communist Party, which has not hidden its eagerness for Hong Kongers to forget the time, and the local authorities who have Recently presented school books that say that the city has never even been a colony to start. A retiree named Wing, who spoke to CNN outside the consulate on Monday but refused to give his full name, said that it was "incredible" to be part of a mass rally. "I feel angry that the government of Hong Kong shows no correctly respect (for the queen). They are afraid of the Chinese government who told them, but we were part of the colony," said Wing, born in the 1960. The manifestations of affection are also a reminder of the pro-democracy demonstrations of the city, during which the demonstrators adopted the colonial flag as a sign of resistance to the single Chinese rule. However, other criticisms stressed that even under British domination, Hong Kongers had no universal suffrage. And many estimated that London had neglected his duty by not granting British citizenship to Hong Kongers at the time of transfer, rather offering a limited passport which did not give them the right to live and work in Great Britain. Since the introduction of the national security law, Great Britain has created what it calls a path to citizenship via a new type of visa. Gotopnews.com

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