Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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Now illegal to insult the National Anthem in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is all set to adopt the same law of China that criminalizes disrespect of the National Anthem

On November 4, China’s top legislature decided to insert the regulation into the Annex III of the Basic Law, the de facto constitution of Hong Kong, the administrative region of the mainland with a utmost degree of autonomy.

Jail Time for disrespecting China’s Anthem increased from 15 Days to 3 Years

The National Anthem Law was passed in China in September and was enacted in October 2017. According to the law, the people who maliciously modify the lyrics or play or sing the national anthem, “March of the Volunteers,” in a distorted or disrespectful way in public, can be detained for up to 15 days, and even be held criminally liable.

Soon after the new law was enacted, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) also amended the country’s penal law to include criminal penalties for violating the law.  From removal of political rights and public surveillance to criminal detention and imprisonment of up to three years, the range of Punishment is set to instill fear among the common citizens.

Hong Kong’s government has said it will follow up the NPC’s decision with local legislation. The government said it is keen to take reference from the existing national flag and emblem law, which also has a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

The new rules come after Hong Kong football fans have been repeatedly booing the Chinese national anthem at matches since 2015 to express their discontent with Beijing for tightening control over the Hong Kong region.

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