Hong Kong Fans Dilemma - Would you go to Jail for booing?
That is the dilemma facing Hong Kong football fans as they feel they’re entitled to show their dissatisfaction towards China. Under the legal agreement when the U.K handed
Hong Kong back to China in 1997 the people of Hong Kong were to retain political freedom and be self-governed for 50 years.
These political freedoms are what have caused anger, and in turn, started the booing of the Chinese National Anthem. The outrage of Hong Kong’s citizens was very much publicised throughout the world during the Umbrella Protests which started due to China screening Hong Kong election candidates and there has been another meddling by China which has allowed that outrage to fester.
Among the list of China’s misdemeanours are; kidnapping Hong Kong booksellers for selling books critical of China, attempting to force Hong Kong to change all writing to simplified from traditional, not allowing free elections, a racist poster made by the Chinese FA warning Chinese citizens to be guarded against a “multilayered society that includes, black skin, yellow skin and white skin, attempting to eradicate Cantonese and now trying to pass laws meaning you will serve time in jail for booing the national anthem of China.
Hong Kong supporters have been booing the national anthem for three years and still continue to do so regardless of being fined by FIFA and the HKFAs pleas for it to be stopped (the umbrella protests were in 2014). As the threats and pleas have failed, now the booing situation has taken another twist – supporters who boo could soon find themselves in jail.
Chinese authorities have passed a law that states anyone disrespecting the national anthem can be jailed for 15 days (although they are trying to increase this to 3 years). The new law, which is labelled ‘the respect the anthem law’ states that all citizens should stand solemnly and silent while the anthem is playing. This law hasn’t previously been effective in Hong Kong, but on Saturday November 4th 2017 China’s parliament formally extended the law so that it also covers Hong Kong.
Hong Kong fans could soon find themselves in jail for “disrespecting the national anthem”, welcome to Hong Kong Supporters new dilemma. Will the booing continue or will the threat of going to jail be the deterrent that makes the booing stop?