HK to punish disrespect of nation's song

AFP
Hong Kong has unveiled a proposed law to punish anyone who disrespects the Chinese national anthem with up to three years in jail.
AFP

Hong Kong has unveiled a proposed law to punish anyone who disrespects the Chinese national anthem with up to three years in jail.

The bill will have its first reading in the city’s parliament on January 23.

A draft bill showed that the city planned to copy the Chinese mainland by bringing in a maximum three-year prison sentence for “serious” cases of disrespect toward the national anthem.

The draft outlaws playing the anthem “in a distorted or disrespectful way, with intent to insult.” It also forbids altering the anthem’s lyrics and its score. As well as possible jail time, offenders will also face fines of up to HK$50,000 (US$6,400).

Patrick Nip, secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, said the law would “preserve the dignity of the national anthem and promote respect.” The bill also ramps up how often China’s national anthem will be played at official events.

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