A man in Hong Kong who played a pro-democracy tune on a harmonica at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral vigil in Hong Kong was arrested.
Thousands of mourners gathered outside the British consulate in Hong Kong during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral to pay tribute on Monday evening.
A 43-year-old man, surnamed Pang, reportedly played songs on a harmonica as attendees outside the consulate shone their phone lights, sang along and applauded the performance. Pang played the British national anthem and the song “Glory To Hong Kong,” which became known as a pro-democracy song during the city’s anti government protests in 2019.
The song contains the protest chant “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” which the courts have previously declared to be a threat to national security. Many mourners also chanted the protest “Hong Kongers add oil” at the vigil, while expressing nostalgia in the former British colony.
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Hong Kong was a British colony for over 150 years before it was returned to China in 1997. Following the queen’s death, more than 13,000 people have lined up to sign a book of condolences in the city’s British consulate.
Pang was arrested outside the consulate on Tuesday for “seditious acts” under the British colonial-era sedition law, which national security police have been known to use to arrest activists.
His arrest marks the first time an individual has been arrested for playing music.
Authorities in Hong Kong have arrested at least 60 people under the same law since September 2020, including Filipino Hong Kong busker Oliver Ma when he sang the English version of the protest song on Hong Kong streets. The law has also been known to send politicians, journalists and civil society figures to prison.