GNI Statement on Hong Kong’s Protest Anthem Ban

Home > News

May 27, 2024  |  News, Policy

The Global Network Initiative (GNI), a multistakeholder organization with a focus on freedom of expression and privacy in the tech sector, is extremely disappointed by the decision by the Hong Kong Court of Appeal to impose a ban on the pro-democracy protest anthem “Glory to Hong Kong”. The 8 May injunction is a reversal of the High Court’s July 2023 ruling rejecting the ban due to possible “chilling effects” on freedom of expression, and invokes the controversial National Security Law (2020) to force internet platform operators (IPOs) to censor various user-generated posts of the song. The underlying prosecution and the Court’s ruling represent the latest concerning developments regarding civil liberties in Hong Kong, as well as efforts to extend repression outside of the territory.

In addition to infringing on the right to freedom of expression in the territory, the ruling has broader implications for people’s access to a free, open, and interoperable internet, as well as for Hong Kong’s business and investment climate, as it pressures global tech companies to depart from their responsibilities under widely accepted and followed frameworks for responsible business conduct such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Manila Principles on Intermediary Liability, and the GNI Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy.

GNI is seriously concerned about the effect of the injunction on the state of human rights in Hong Kong and across the region, and calls on its government to act consistently with its international obligations and human rights commitments by refraining from further enforcing or expanding the application of this order.

Read the full statement

Copyright Global Network Initiative
Website by Eyes Down Digital