A man was arrested at an Olympic viewing event in Hong Kong after he was accused of booing the Chinese national anthem.
The incident occurred as a large crowd watched fencer Edgar Cheung earn Hong Kong its first gold medal in 25 years. Hong Kong athletes have competed under the separate label of “Hong Kong, China” since 1997.
According to a police statement, the 40-year-old man was seen waving colonial-era Hong Kong flags while booing as the Chinese anthem played during the medal ceremony.
Police stated that the man’s goal was to incite hatred while also politicizing the Olympic Games. He was also accused of trying to egg on others in the crowd to join him in his protest. Police also said that they will continue their investigation and that additional arrests could be made.
China's government criminalized actions that insult the national flag and emblem — including the national anthem — last October, which is also applicable to Hong Kong, a former British colony, according to The Associated Press.
Beijing cracked down on dissent and demonstrations after anti-government protests rocked Hong Kong for months in 2019.
Cheung’s win marked the third medal earned by Hong Kong athletes in Tokyo.
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