Police Arrest Three For ‘Not Standing, Honoring Recitation of National Anthem

Hong Kong police have arrested three individuals for failing to stand and turning their backs during the Chinese national anthem at a World Cup qualifying match against Iran, according to The Guardian.

This act of defiance was a symbol of political dissent, as booing the anthem was a common practice among Hong Kong football fans until it was outlawed in 2020 as part of a broader crackdown on democracy protests.

The authorities reported that two men and a woman were taken into custody for “not standing and turning their backs towards the pitch” during the anthem.

“Police stressed that anyone who publicly and intentionally insults the national anthem in any way commits a crime,” the statement said.

The three individuals arrested for not standing during the Chinese national anthem at a football match in Hong Kong are between 18 and 31 years old. If found guilty, they face a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of HK$50,000 (approximately £5,000 or US$6,400).

Despite the political tensions, Hong Kong’s team has been a source of civic pride, and their matches have occasionally been a platform for anti-government sentiment.

However, since the imposition of a national security law in 2020, booing the national anthem has been criminalised, and the team’s match against Iran resulted in a 4-2 loss. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, competes independently in international sports, including football.


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