The 22-year-old street musician Oliver Ma was arrested on Friday in Hong Kong on charges of causing “public disorder” after singing ‘Glory to Hong Kong,’ the unofficial anthem of the 2019 pro-democracy protests Breitbart reported.
The singer—now out on bail—explained that he was not trying to send a political message and that police did not bother him during the first three songs he sang outside a mask store in Queen’s Road Central. However, when he began to sing ‘Glory to Hong Kong’ (in English), police officers moved in quickly.
“I was minding my own business busking to my first crowd in seven to nine months. My first, second and third songs had nothing to do with politics whatsoever when the cops decided to target, harass & arbitrarily arrest me again,” Ma wrote on Instagram last Saturday.
“I can’t wait a few more months and not work for a living,” Ma added, alluding to the difficulties he has faced in his profession due to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus (COVID-19) pandemic. Adding to this difficulty, the police have now confiscated his guitar and microphone.
The Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) contacted police on Monday who said Ma was arrested because he was uncooperative when officers acted on a noise complaint. Police said Ma was charged with creating “disorder in a public place.”
The pro-democracy street musician was arrested twice last year for nuisance noise and violating the COVID-19 face mask rule, HKFP noted.
About Glory to Hong Kong
Glory to Hong Kong is a short song, written initially in Cantonese by a young Hong Kong musician and posted on the Internet, which the protest movement adopted in September 2019.
The song’s author was pleased with its spontaneous popularity and said it brought “new energy” to the movement. He hoped it would “unite Hong Kong people and boost public morale.”
“I wanted to write a song that showed Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy and freedom,” the author said, according to Breitbart.
The lyrics include phrases such as “Free yourself Hong Kong,” and urged people never to accept slavery and rise and let freedom reign.
The Hong Kong government—controlled by the CCP—warns that such phrases violate the national security law imposed by the CCP in June 2020 because they encourage “separatism.” The law requires a minimum of ten years in prison for anyone convicted of violating it.
Hong Kong Security Law
Individuals and governments worldwide criticize the controversial law for severely limiting freedom of speech in Hong Kong. But not only that, it allows authorities to apprehend suspects from Hong Kong and try them in Mainland China, where it is known to be a dictatorship, and there are no transparent legal processes.
In addition, this law, which came into force on June 30, establishes the creation of a kind of “secret police,” acting directly under the orders of the CCP, placing the territory under the same authoritarian rules as Mainland China.
The law defines as punishable offenses: “secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.”
After the former British colony came under the rule of the CCP in 1997, in the so-called “one country, two systems” arrangement, pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have held numerous demonstrations, complaining about the loss of freedoms and warning of surveillance in the city by the Beijing authorities
These complaints of encroachment on civil liberties have increased since the enactment of the National Security Law in 2020. A large number of pro-democracy activists have been arrested under this law.