Sunday, April 14, 2024

The arrest of a Hong Kong radio host for sedition

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
"Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek."

An internet radio broadcaster was arrested on Sunday under the British Colonial-era Sedition Act, which authorities have begun implementing to end dissent.

Administration officials in charge of national security have arrested Wan Yue Singh, 52, on charges of “inflammatory intent,” according to a police statement.

The authorities have not disclosed what Mr. Wan said or what procedures are subject to the law.

Known as DJ “Giggs,” he hosted shows dedicated to the pro-democracy protests and appealed for donations to support Hong Kong youth who fled to Taiwan.

The Hong Kong law enforced differs from the strict national security law that Beijing imposed in June to end the protest movement.

It was enacted when the region was a British colony.

It remained in effect after the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, but was not used in the territory, which enjoys political freedoms unknown in mainland China.

After the massive and often violent pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019, prosecutors passed the law.

In September, it was used for the first time since 1997 against another radio host and pro-democracy activist, Tam Tak Che.

Currently, on bail, he is awaiting trial.

Prosecutors say pro-democracy slogans such as “Hong Kong Free” and “Dismantling the Police Force” are seditious.

Mr. Tam’s trial will provide insight into how discord fits within the framework of the freedoms of expression that are allegedly guaranteed by Hong Kong’s mini-constitution and bill of rights.

The National Security Act has caused an unprecedented setback in the freedoms formerly enjoyed by Hong Kong residents.

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It has put an end to the demonstrations, and its highly vague wording allows for the constant expression of certain opinions, such as calling for Hong Kong independence or greater autonomy.

Mr. Wan, who was arrested last year for violating the National Security Act, is among more than 100 activists arrested under the new law.

At the time, the National Security Department inside the police said it suspected Mr. Wan was using the money illegally to support individuals or organizations advocating separatist activities.

He has not yet been charged with violating the National Security Act.

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