Hong Kong man arrested for allegedly booing Chinese anthem while watching Olympics

Hong Kong police have arrested a man on suspicion of insulting the national anthem, after he allegedly booed the Chinese national anthem while watching an Olympic event at a mall.

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

The man was standing in a crowd with others to watch the 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 was under way.

Hong Kong passed a law in June 2020 that criminalised any actions that insult the national anthem. Violating the law can mean a fine of up to HK$50,000 ($6,400) 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 in October 2020 which is also applicable to Hong Kong.

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