Hong Kong’s Kim Jong-un impersonator says he was arrested by ten police officers who raided his home last October upon suspicion that he was in possession of a firearm without a licence.

The lookalike, who also goes by the name “Howard,” said on Facebook that police told him a BB gun had been posted to his address in April 2020, though he never received it: “[T]hey said that particular BB gun had an energy output beyond what was legally allowed and therefore is considered in the same category as a real firearm.”

Xi Jin peng Kim Jong un protest march five demands 1 July 2020 causeway bay
Photo: May James/HKFP.

Howard said on Wednesday that nothing was found during the raid last October 20, though police were aware of his public persona: “When I challenged them on the arrest on such ridiculous grounds, they had indicated that the order came from another department higher up and stated they were just doing their jobs.”

He added that the officers he spoke to had referred to his satirical appearances during the 2019 anti-extradition law protests.

The comedian, who has yet to be charged by the force, questioned the allocation of resources to his case. “It seems so ridiculous… to have up to 10 people to come and search my house for a BB gun… something doesn’t seem right,” he told HKFP. “I think the situation in Hong Kong for artists who criticise the Chinese Communist Party is they are making sure we are paying a price for our criticism.”

Howard was also a fixture during the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests and is often spotted at the Rugby Sevens event.

"April 28 2020" IFC mall
A local Kim Jong-un impersonator is spotted wielding an inflatable missile. Photo: Studio Incendo.

Police told him to report to a police station every six weeks. Howard said he attended with an inflatable rocket: “[I] arrived in character at the police station with my rocket to highlight the ridiculous grounds of my arrest.”

YouTube video

He told HKFP that he was annoyed at the legal costs and the fact police retained his phone, but he will continue his satirical work: “I will keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

HKFP has contacted the police for comment.

Additional reporting: Rhoda Kwan.

Support HKFP  |  Policies & Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps

Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

contribute to hkfp methods
hkfp flask store
YouTube video

Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit.

Success! You're on the list.

Tom founded Hong Kong Free Press in 2015 and is the editor-in-chief. In addition to editing, he is responsible for managing the newsroom and company - including fundraising, recruitment and overseeing HKFP's web presence and ethical guidelines.

He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He previously led an NGO advocating for domestic worker rights, and has contributed to the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Al-Jazeera and others.