A Hong Kong man charged with sedition after allegedly sharing a video of a protest-related song being played instead of China’s national anthem at a South Korean rugby game has been denied bail.

Wong Chun-kit, a 42-year-old courier, appeared in front of Chief Magistrate Victor So at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday.

West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts
West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Wong, who was arrested on Monday, faces one charge of “doing an act or acts with sedition intention.” He was accused of publishing and making available 113 “seditious” messages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter between January 31 last year and November 21.

The content of the posts aimed to “bring into hatred or contempt or to excite disaffection” against the central authorities and Hong Kong government, the prosecution said. They also said the messages were capable of inciting violence, exciting others “to attempt to procure the alteration… of any other matter in Hong Kong as by law established” by unlawful means and advising unlawful disobedience.

Wong’s messages targeted Chinese leader Xi Jinping during his visit Hong Kong in July, as well as the Hong Kong government and police, the prosecution said.

Xi Jinping
Chinese leader Xi Jinping officiates in Hong Kong on July 1, 2022. Photo: GovHK.

According to the prosecution, the 42-year-old also shared posts that advocated for Hong Kong independence and targeted the city’s anti-epidemic measures. Wong called the LeaveHomeSafe Covid-19 contact tracing app “LeaveHomeUnsafe” and encouraged people not to get vaccinated.

Some of the posts also incited others to engage in violence, the prosecution said, mentioning words such as “revolution” and “uprising,” and encouraging others to take to the streets on “special occasions,” referring to key dates from the 2019 protests when major clashes or incidents occurred.

Photo: Lea Mok/HKFP

Additionally, the prosecution said the courier forwarded content that may have amounted to insulting the national anthem and/or the national flag on November 14.

That was the day that news of protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” being played instead of the Chinese national anthem ahead of a Hong Kong rugby match in South Korea surfaced and started gaining traction in the city.

Local media reported that Wong shared the video with a message of thanks to South Korea “for recognising Hong Kong’s national anthem.

Bail denied

Wong, a tall, well-built man who wore a checked cardigan with a black t-shirt underneath, stood up straight in the dock as he listened to the prosecutor. His lawyer later applied to have him released on bail, which the prosecution objected to.

Under court reporting restrictions on bail proceedings, written and broadcast reports are limited to only include the result of a bail application, the name of the person applying for bail and their representation, and the offence concerned.

Magistrate So sided with the prosecution and denied Wong’s bail, saying there was insufficient evidence to show that he would not continue to do acts that may endanger national security.

Wong will appear in court again on December 1 to review his bail status.

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Almond Li is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously worked for Reuters and Happs TV as a freelancer, and as a reporter at Hong Kong International Business Channel, Citizen News and Commercial Radio Hong Kong. She earned her Masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has an interest in LGBT+, mental health and environmental issues.