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China: Live-streamer detained for “insulting” the national anthem

18 October 2018
Chinese live-streaming star Yang Kaili (also known as Li Ge) was detained by authorities for five days for “insulting” the country’s national anthem.
Photo: YouTube screenshot of Yang Kaili’s live stream

 

On 13 October 2018, Chinese live-streaming star Yang Kaili (also known as Li Ge) was detained by Chinese authorities for five days for “insulting” the country’s national anthem, reported The New York Times.  

During the live stream recorded on 7 October 2018, Kaili smiled at the camera and waved her arms in the air as if conducting an orchestra. She then sang a garbled snippet of the national anthem of China, “March of the Volunteers”. 

According to BBC, Kaili’s behavior has been described by police as “an insult to the dignity of the national anthem which repelled internet users.” She was detained under China’s National Anthem Law, which was implemented in 2017 by the National People’s Congress (NPC) and carries a punishment of up to 15 days of detention or imprisonment of up to three years for people who disrespect the anthem.

Following the events, Kaili issued two statements on her official Weibo account:
“I sincerely apologize for the fact that I did not sing the national anthem in the live broadcast in a serious manner. My behavior deeply hurt everyone’s feelings. Sorry. Sorry to the motherland, sorry to my fans, sorry to everyone online, sorry to the platform.”

She also wrote that she will “stop all live broadcasting work, carry out self-reformation, painstakingly deepen reflection, fully accept ideological politics and patriotic education and diligently study the relevant laws and regulations of the National Anthem Law of the People’s Republic of China.”

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