Lee Kai sun playing Glory to Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Police charged a 68-year-old retiree for playing “Glory to Hong Kong” with his er-hu in many places in public.

Lee was found not guilty for one of his charges, “playing an instrument without a license” on Oct. 3. The other two similar charges were postponed and will be settled on Oct 31.

Defendant Lee Kai-sun was charged for “playing an instrument without a permit” in April, June, and August 2022. He appeared in court for playing er-hu at Tung Chung City Center once and twice on Tai Wai Streets.

Lee denied the charges in April. The provisional magistrate at the time, Tam Lap-fung, ruled that the prosecution’s testimony was not established but later overturned his own decision.

When defending himself, Lee mentioned that he tried to apply for a license from the police, but they rejected his requests both times. He also stated that he never bothered or obstructed anyone.

On Oct. 3, the West Kowloon Magistrate on duty pointed out that only relying on the absence of a permit does not sufficiently constitute an offense or a crime. The Magistrate also noted that the prosecutors failed to prove the defendant guilty without absolute doubt.

Therefore, Lee was found not guilty.

The song, written by protesters, “Glory to Hong Kong” is a protest anthem for the 2019 anti-extradition bill movement in Hong Kong.

The song quickly circulated on the internet, and the public sang it during the anti-extradition protests. “Glory to Hong Kong” became one of the emblems of the Hong Kong Protests.

The song was released on the music platform KKBOX in September 2019. It reached number one on the Hong Kong New Song Chart and the daily and weekly music charts.

Since then, the song has been translated into many languages and widely circulated worldwide.

The lyrics highlight the events that make Hongkongers angry and sad in Hong Kong. People no longer want to be silent and cowardly and step onto the streets. Courage and wisdom can guide and help people survive in the darkest moments. So people can move toward the future of ‘Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our time.’

Although the law did not characterize the unofficial protest anthem as seditious elements or a violation of the national security law, government officials have deemed it so, by their actions.

On Jul 8, Former Secretary for Education Bureau Kelvin Yeung Yun-hung responded to questioning at the Legislative Council. Yeung claimed, “‘Glory to Hong Kong’ stemmed from the social events in June 2019. It carries a strong political message. It is closely related to social-political events, violence, and criminal incidents. Schools should never allow students to sing or broadcast the song on campus.”

Kaworu Tsang

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