The man, identified in the local media only by his second name Pang, was arrested for playing songs on his harmonica, including the British national anthem and “Glory To Hong Kong” — a popular song during pro-democracy protests three years ago.
“Glory to Hong Kong” is banned in schools, though the government has refused to say if singing or playing it is illegal.
Many applauded his performance and shone their phone lights outside the consulate. But later police questioned Mr Pang and detained him for “seditious acts”.
The arrest marks the first time someone was arrested under the British colonial-era law for playing music.
In the week since Queen Elizabeth’s death, more than 13,000 people have signed a condolence book in the city’s British consulate, news agencies reported.
Hundreds of Hong Kongers waited for hours to sign the book and left flowers on the sidewalk. Some have waved British flags and posted signs reading “I love Hong Kong”. Hundreds have left candles, drawings and greeting cards outside the consulate’s walls too.
The British consulate closed the book of condolences as the Queen was laid to rest at Windsor Castle in Britain on Monday following a state funeral attended by world leaders.
People hold candles as they watch a live retransmission of the funeral of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, outside the British Consulate-General, in Hong Kong. 📷: Reuters/ @SiuTyrone pic.twitter.com/NmJq2cWjFq
— Jessie Pang (@JessiePang0125) September 19, 2022
A former education minister in Hong Kong said the song should be banned in schools, while the city’s state-owned press said it incites calls for independence. Judges have also ruled that a protest slogan contained in its lyrics — “liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” — could endanger national security.