An internet radio host linked to a fundraising campaign that paid for young Hong Kong protesters to study in Taiwan will appear in court on Monday after being charged with four counts of seditious intent.
Wan Yiu-sing, better known as “Giggs”, a programme host on the internet radio channel D100, was arrested for a second time by national security police on Sunday over the allegations. He was first arrested alongside his assistant last November on suspicion of money laundering and aiding secession under the national security law. His wife was also accused of money laundering at the time.
In a statement, the force confirmed that a 52-year-old man had been charged with four counts of seditious intent, and that the case would be mentioned at West Kowloon Court on Monday. It did not, however, reveal what acts had constituted the alleged offence.
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Section 10 of the Crimes Ordinance forbids doing, attempting to do or conspiring to do any act with seditious intention. It also outlaws the uttering of any seditious words and the printing, display or import of any seditious publication. First-time offenders face a fine of HK$5,000 (US$645) and imprisonment for up to two years.
Wan launched the online radio show A Thousand Fathers and Mothers: Taiwan Education Aid last February, using it to discuss topics in support of the 2019 anti-government protest movement and to call on viewers to donate funds for the education and living expenses of young Hong Kong protesters fleeing to Taiwan.
Upon arresting Wan in November, the police force’s national security unit said it suspected him and his peers of illegally embezzling some of the donations or sending them to organisations that advocated secessionist activities.
Last month, the force arrested another two men and one woman over the same case for alleged money laundering and aiding secession under the national security law. The trio, who are out on bail, are due to report back to the police in May.
Last September, opposition activist Tam Tak-chi became the first person to be charged with sedition under the Crimes Ordinance since Hong Kong’s handover back to mainland China in 1997.
He was accused of uttering seditious words by stirring up hatred against the Hong Kong government on multiple occasions, some of which took place before Beijing’s imposition of the national security law in June of last year.
Tam, the leading figure of the localist group People Power, was denied bail and has been remanded in custody ever since.
Legal scholars and rights advocates have recently raised concerns over the “draconian” sedition law, which was introduced by the British colonial government to target pro-China forces. Critics have slammed the law as being outdated, with its restrictions on free speech running contrary to the safeguards on human rights the city has put in place over the years.