Hong Kong steps up crackdown on Cantopop stars


Hong Kong District Court judge Ernest Lin Kam-hung handed down a judgment Aug. 31 sentencing Tommy Yuen Man-on, a former Cantopop boy-band member, to 26 months imprisonment. Yuen was convicted of “acts with seditious intention”┬áamong other charges. Lin found that Yuen made seditious statements on Facebook and Instagram in 2021, including posts about the death of a marine police officer, injuries suffered by then Chief Executive Carrie Lam after a fall, and cases of officer misconduct. Lin asserted┬áthat Yuen had been insulting Hong Kong’s government and┬áimplicitly advocating for Hong Kong independence.

Lin also found that Yuen and his wife had been taking advantage of his fame to raise money through crowd-funding and “manipulate others’┬ásympathy,” as translated by a local news outlet.

Yuen was given a sentence of 39 months, which was then reduced by one-third to 26 months, as he had pled guilty in July.

Yuen was well known as a member of the Cantopop boy group E-kids, which was disbanded in 2006. He had been active in the 2019 anti-extradition protests, while Lin won a reputation for his harsh sentences handed down to protesters.

Frpm Jurist, Sept. 3. Used with permission.

This is not the first time Hong Kong authorities have targeted Canto-pop stars.

Photo: Yuen, outside West Kowloon Court in March 2021, standing to right of Alexandra “Grandma” Wong. Credit: Studio Incendo via Wikimedia Commons