Hong Kong Police Probe Booing of Chinese Anthem at Olympics Screening

Hong Kong police have launched an investigation into the booing of China's national anthem during a screening of an Olympic medal ceremony.

A large crowd had gathered on different levels of the APM mall in Kwun Tong on Monday to watch a screening of the fencer Edgar Cheung Ka-long triumph in the men's individual foil final.

As the crowd watched him receiving his gold medal on the podium, there was a negative reaction to the Chinese national anthem being played.

Video filmed at the scene shows the tune being met with jeering before the crowd started to shout: "We are Hong Kong."

A recently passed law in the city has made it illegal to insult the Chinese anthem.

On Friday, Agence France Press (AFP) Hong Kong correspondent Xinqi Su tweeted that a man had been arrested for "insulting" the Chinese national anthem, citing Oriental Daily and NOW News.

Meanwhile, Eric Cheung from CNNi reported that Hong Kong police had said the man was found be carrying "about 10" British Hong Kong colonial flags with varying sizes and said that his goal was to "incite hatred and politicize the Olympic Games"

"Police said they are investigating whether anyone at the shopping mall violated the NSL," Cheung tweeted, referring to the national security law (NSL) which Beijing introduced on June 30 2020 that prohibits anything that incites "secession."

Police are collecting and examining footage from the mall's security cameras, the BBC reported, which noted that protest slogans were also chanted.

Newsweek has contacted Hong Kong police for comment.

Since the handover from the United Kingdom in 1997, Hong Kong athletes have competed in the Games under "Hong Kong, China". While its regional flag is used in medal ceremonies, the Chinese anthem is played when its athletes win gold medals.

Cheung Ka's win on Monday's was the city's second-ever Olympic gold and the first since windsurfer Lee Lai-shan won at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the South China Morning Post reported.

The probe over behavior during the Chinese anthem comes Beijing continues to crack down on dissent following pro-democracy protests two years ago.

On Friday, Tong Ying-kit, 24, was jailed for a total of nine years after he became the first person charged and convicted under the city's NSL.

His sentence on Friday included the charge of incitement to secession for carrying a banner reading, "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times."

Amnesty International condemned the verdict on Friday, with its Asia-Pacific regional director Yamini Mishra saying it "essentially outlaws a popular slogan widely by the pro-democracy movement."

The sentence "confirms fears that the national security law is not merely a tool to instill terror into government critics in Hong Kong; it is a weapon that will be used to incarcerate them," Mishra added.

The Hong Kong flag waved in shoppingmall
The Hong Kong flag is waved in a shopping mall on July 30, 2021 as crowds watch the Olympics. Police are investigating the Chinese anthem being booed during fencer Edgar Cheung Ka's gold medal ceremony. ISAAC LAWRENCE/Getty