Hong Kong court bans pro-democracy song, measure deemed “necessary” by Beijing

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal on Wednesday, May 8, banned the song Glory to Hong Kong popularized during the 2019 pro-democracy protests

Hong Kong court bans pro-democracy song, measure deemed “necessary” by Beijing

The Hong Kong Court of Appeal on Wednesday, May 8, banned the song Glory to Hong Kong popularized during the 2019 pro-democracy protests. After the local government's request to prevent the broadcast or even the interpretation of this piece, “we are satisfied that an injunction should be granted,” Judge Jeremy Poon wrote in his ruling.

Glory to Hong Kong is the first song banned in the territory since the handover of the former British colony to China in 1997.

Beijing called the ban a “necessary measure.” “Preventing anyone from using or broadcasting the song in question... is a legitimate and necessary measure taken [by Hong Kong] to fulfill its responsibility to protect national security,” said Lin Jian, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during its regular press briefing.

Becoming an anthem of the city's pro-democracy movement, Glory to Hong Kong was written and popularized during the sometimes violent protests of 2019, which saw millions of people take to the streets to demand political freedoms.

The executive of the financial center of southern China filed a request in June for an injunction to ban this song. But at the end of July the courts rejected it, considering that its ban would raise serious questions of freedom of expression. The executive appealed.