Former RTHK show host Allan Au arrested, ‘linked to Stand News’
Published: Apr 11, 2022 11:03 AM
Allan Au Ka-lun, a media veteran and former host of the RTHK’s program Photo: Oriental Daily
Allan Au Ka-lun, a media veteran and former host of the RTHK’s program Photo: Oriental Daily

Hong Kong Police Force’s national security department arrested Allan Au Ka-lun, a media veteran and former host of a RTHK program, on Monday morning for colluding and publishing inflammatory publications, local media reported. The reports said the case is related to Stand News. 

The police confirmed with the Global Times via an email on Monday afternoon, saying that they arrested a 54-year-old man in Kwai Chung after the police’s national security department did an investigation. According to the police, the man allegedly violated the Crime Ordinance’s Article 9 and 10 for colluding and publishing seditious publications. 

The man is currently in detention for further investigation and the police said they won’t exclude the fact that more people could be arrested as the investigation is ongoing. 

Au was fired by RTHK from its radio program Open Line Open View in June 2021 for which he had served as a host for 11 years, and he was previously an editor and news host at TVB, according to local media reports. 

Local media HK01 said it’s believed that the arrest is connected to several commentary articles Au published in Stand News – an online news site which stopped operations last year after its senior executives were arrested on the charge of colluding and publishing multiple inflammatory articles. 

When listing some inflammatory articles published by Stand News, Ta Kung Pao said in an article last December that it published an article by Au, which was also the editorial of Apple Daily on its foundation day – “We belong to Hong Kong.” The article blatantly claimed that the national security law for Hong Kong has replaced all the other laws in Hong Kong and severely damaged the city’s human rights and the rule of law. 

Apple Daily, the secessionist tabloid, depicted by Western politicians and media as so-called defender of freedom of speech, issued its final hard copy in June 2021, after some of its senior executives were arrested for violating the national security law for Hong Kong. HK$18 million ($2.3 million) in assets was also frozen during the ensuing investigation.

From July 2020 to November 2021, Stand News published many inflammatory articles in order to arouse the public's distaste and hatred toward the rule of law and the government, instigating Hong Kong residents to challenge the rule of law, the Hong Kong Police Force said. 

According to the Crime Ordinance, any seditious intention that brings hatred or contempt or excites disaffection against the administration of justice in Hong Kong, and anyone that prints and offers for sale seditious publication would face certain fine and imprisonment for two or three years. 

John Lee Ka-chiu, former Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong who recently announced candidacy for the upcoming Chief Executive election, told reporters on Monday that the Basic Law clearly stipulates freedom of speech and press freedom, when asked to comment on the case.

Any comments and rights ensured by the Basic Law are in line with international rules, and everyone is under full protection in terms of freedom of speech and freedom of the press as long as they follow the legal framework, and they have sufficient room for freedom, Lee said. 

Global Times