Regina Ip clarifies injunction application against unlawful acts relating to “Glory to Hong Kong” song not a threat to free speech

331
Regina Ip

7th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Department of Justice of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has applied for an injunction and interim injunction (HCA 855/2023) to prohibit four items of unlawful acts relating to the song “Glory to Hong Kong.” The application was filed with the court on 5th June, and the hearing date is yet to be fixed.

Since its circulation in 2019, “Glory to Hong Kong” has gained immense popularity among Hong Kong citizens. However, the lyrics of the song have been ruled by the Court as constituting secession. Moreover, the song has recently been mistakenly presented as the “national anthem of Hong Kong” (instead of the correct one “March of the Volunteers”) repeatedly, which has insulted the national anthem and caused serious damage to the country and the HKSAR.

The Department of Justice argues that past events have shown that it is highly likely that the song will continue to be widely disseminated, contrary to the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (National Security Law) and the Crimes Ordinance. As such, the Department of Justice has applied for an injunction to prohibit the four unlawful acts related to the song, pending a further hearing.

The four items of unlawful acts that the Department of Justice seeks to prohibit include displaying, broadcasting, and publishing the song, as well as providing funds to promote or support its use. The Department of Justice asserts that these acts are in violation of the National Security Law and the Crimes Ordinance.

In response to the injunction application, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, the convenor of the Executive Council and a legislator, expressed her support for the Department of Justice’s efforts. She said that some people have continued to play the song in public competitions, and even sports teams failed to stop the problem. She also expressed her concern that Google has not cooperated with those who seek to block the song.

Ip further emphasised that the injunction application has not affected the freedom of speech. She pointed out that the song contains a subversive message, which is not a general expression, and thus does not affect the freedom of speech of citizens.