Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance has adjourned a hearing about whether to grant an injunction banning pro-democracy protest song Glory to Hong Kong.

Judge Wilson Chan on Monday adjourned a hearing dealing with an application from Department of Justice (DoJ) for an interim injunction on the song until July 21.

Glory to Hong Kong Spotify
This photo dated June 7, 2023 shows the 2019 protest song “Glory to Hong Kong” on streaming platform Spotify. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

The DoJ said on Monday that it did not intend to target “the world at large.”

The department’s representative said that the injunction was aimed at people who “are conducting or intending to conduct” the distribution of Glory to Hong Kong with the intention of inciting secession, sedition, or to violate the national anthem law.

The administration also sought to bar the facilitation and authorisation of those acts.

The judge questioned whether the injunction would target those who only conducted or intended to conduct the acts after the injunction was imposed, and suggested that the government publish the notice of the injunction in at least one Chinese-language and one English-language newspaper in the city.

The DoJ representative said in response that the notice would be published on government websites, as well as a QR code linking to the documents relating to the notice.

‘Secessionist’ lyrics

The song, which was popular during the 2019 extradition bill protests, contains the phrase “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” which was ruled in the city’s first national security trial to be secessionist, the government said.

There have been a number of anthem mix-ups in recent months, where the protest song was played instead of China’s anthem, the March of the Volunteers, at sports competition ceremonies.

Last year, Google refused to take action over its search results, when searches for “Hong Kong national anthem” led to the Wikipedia page for the protest song. The security chief said the company’s inaction “hurt the feelings of Hong Kong people,” though it was only in April that the government updated its own page with official anthem details. The page shot to the top of search results.

HKFP has contacted Internet Archive, Soundcloud, KKBox, Meta, Google and Twitter for comment. Twitter responded to enquiries with a “poop” emoji.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.