Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has passed a bill that will criminalize any mockery of China’s national anthem. The anthem was roundly booed at Hong Kong sports events last year when protests erupted at Beijing’s attempts to whittle away the city’s autonomy. Reuters reports that the bill was passed with 41 in favour and one against. A foul-smelling liquid was reportedly released in the chamber in an attempt to disrupt the vote, and pro-Democracy lawmakers abstained from voting in protest. The law prohibits doing anything to “insult” the Chinese national anthem, including altering its lyrics or tune, and playing or singing it in a “distorted or disrespectful way.” It’s likely to reignite protests—people in Hong Kong are set to light candles Thursday night commemorate the 1989 massacre by Chinese troops at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Activists plan to gather despite the first-ever police ban of the event since its inception in 1990.
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