Former RTHK host Allan Au arrested, ‘linked to Stand News’
Allan Au Ka-lun, a media veteran and former RTHK show host Photo: Oriental Daily
The National Security Department of Hong Kong Police arrested Allan Au Ka-lun, a media veteran and former host of an RTHK program, on Monday morning for collusion and publishing inflammatory posts, local media reported. Reports say the case is tied to Stand News.
Police confirmed to the Global Times via email on Monday afternoon, saying they arrested a 54-year-old man in Kwai Chung after the police’s national security department conducted an investigation. Police say the man violated Sections 9 and 10 of the Crime Ordinance for collusion and publishing seditious publications.
The man is currently in custody for further investigation and police said they would not rule out that other people may be arrested as the investigation continues.
Au was fired by RTHK from his Open Line Open View radio show in June 2021 for which he had been a host for 11 years, and he was previously an editor and news host at TVB, according to local media.
Local news outlet HK01 said the arrest was linked to several commentary articles Au posted in Stand News – an online news site that went out of business last year after its top executives were arrested for collusion and publication of several inflammatory articles.
Listing some inflammatory articles published by Stand News, Ta Kung Pao said in an article last December that he had published an article by Au, which was also the editorial of Apple Daily on the day of its founding – “We we belong to Hong Kong”. The article blatantly claimed that Hong Kong’s national security law had superseded all other laws in Hong Kong and had seriously undermined the city’s human rights and rule of law.
Apple Daily, the secessionist tabloid described by Western politicians and media as an ostensible defender of free speech, published its last hard copy in June 2021, after some of its top executives were arrested for violates Hong Kong’s national security law. HK$18 million ($2.3 million) in assets were also frozen during the ensuing investigation.
From July 2020 to November 2021, Stand News published numerous inflammatory articles to stir up public disgust and hatred towards the rule of law and the government, inciting Hong Kong residents to challenge the rule of law, a Hong Kong police said.
According to the Crimes Ordinance, any seditious intent which arouses hatred or contempt or incites disaffection against the administration of justice in Hong Kong, and any person who prints and offers for sale a seditious publication shall be fined and a prison sentence of two or three years.
John Lee Ka-chiu, Hong Kong’s former chief administrative secretary who recently announced his candidacy for the upcoming chief executive election, told reporters on Monday that the Basic Law clearly stipulates freedom of speech. and freedom of the press, when asked to comment on the case.
All comments and rights guaranteed by the Basic Law are in accordance with international rules, and everyone enjoys full protection in terms of freedom of expression and freedom of the press as long as they respect the legal framework and have enough leeway, says Lee.