Hong Kong police arrest man for Chinese anthem ‘insult’ while watching Olympics

Man allegedly waved colonial-era flags and booed while watching event at shopping centre

People wave a Hong Kong flag and a Chinese national flag as they watch Olympics events at a shopping mall in Hong Kong. Phoyo. File Photograph: Vincent Yu/ AP Photo

People wave a Hong Kong flag and a Chinese national flag as they watch Olympics events at a shopping mall in Hong Kong. Phoyo. File Photograph: Vincent Yu/ AP Photo

 

Hong Kong police arrested a man on suspicion of insulting the national anthem, after he was allegedly caught booing the Chinese national anthem while watching an Olympic event at a shopping centre.

The 40-year old man was allegedly waving colonial-era Hong Kong flags and booing, while urging others to join him in insulting the national anthem, according to a police statement posted on Facebook.

Hong Kong passed a law in June last year that criminalised any actions that insult the national anthem.

Violating the law can mean a fine of up to 50,000 Hong Kong dollars, and up to nine years in prison.

China’s central government criminalised actions that insult the national flag and emblem in amendments made to a law last October, which is also applicable to Hong Kong, a former British colony.

A Hong Kong colonial flag. File Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP Photo
A Hong Kong colonial flag. File Photograph: Kin Cheung/AP Photo

The 40-year old man was standing in a crowd with others to watch Hong Kong fencer Edgar Cheung in a match that would win him gold, local media reported.

The booing started at the medal ceremony, when the national anthem began playing.

Police said there may be additional arrests and that an active investigation is under way. –AP