Hong Kong Journalist Arrested for Sedition
On Monday, Hong Kong police arrested a journalist for “conspiracy to commit an incendiary publication”. This was communicated by local media and by a source at the police.
Allan Au, 54, was arrested Monday morning by National Security Police officers. He is a former editor of Stand News, a pro-democracy news site that was forced to shut down in late December after a series of raids. Seven people were then arrested for an “inciting publication”. Two journalists from Stand News have also been charged.
Au published another book on censorship in Hong Kong in 2017. For over ten years, he was also in charge of a news program on the public broadcaster RTHK. Last year, he was fired from the station after the Hong Kong authorities rearranged the programs. The government wanted to guarantee that the previously independent editorial staff would follow the official line.
The offence of “sedition” carries a prison sentence of two years.
Hong Kong has been a semi-autonomous region of China since 1997, but the influence of the Chinese government limits democratic freedoms. As a result, press freedom is coming under increasing pressure.