Hong Kong appeals court bans protest song

An appeals court in Hong Kong has approved a government request to ban a popular protest song, but with the exception of a few activities.

The court on Wednesday overturned an earlier ruling on "Glory to Hong Kong" that was sung at mass demonstrations across the territory five years ago.

In June last year, the Hong Kong government filed for a court injunction to ban the song, including its performances, saying some of the lyrics incite secession.

But a court rejected its bid the following month, stressing the importance of freedom of expression.

The government appealed the verdict.
The appeals court noted that if the situation is left as it is, any further damage to national security would likely be irreparable.

It ordered a ban on performances of the song and its dissemination online among other acts with the intention of inciting secession and provoking hatred toward the government.

But the court said the use of the song's performance will be allowed for academic and journalistic activities in consideration of freedom of expression.

The song has been mistakenly played at international sporting events outside the territory, instead of the Chinese anthem, "March of the Volunteers," upsetting the Hong Kong government.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian expressed support for the verdict on Wednesday.

He said stopping anyone from using and disseminating the song is a legitimate and necessary measure for Hong Kong to fulfill its constitutional responsibility of safeguarding national security and the dignity of the national anthem.