The radio host, known as ‘Giggs’, was arrested with his wife and a female assistant at their house in North Point, after being allegedly linked to a funding campaign for young protesters to leave Hong Kong and study in Taiwan. An administrator’s post on Gigg’s Facebook page said the trio were arrested on charges of providing financial support to separatist activities and money laundering.
Wan’s internet radio program, A thousand of fathers and mothers: Taiwan education aid programme, launched in February 2020. The program discusses topics in support of Hong Kong’s anti-government protests and has urged audiences to donate funds to support young protestors fleeing Hong Kong to Taiwan. Giggs is reported to have used subscription platform Patreon to fund his show and collect donations. Under Article 21 of the law prevents the incitement of aid or provision of financial assistance for secessionist activity. Violations are punishable with up to ten years’ imprisonment.
Lawyer and pro-democracy politician Daniel Wong Kwok-tung, who is representing Wan and his wife, dismissed the charges as “severe” and “unthinkable”. Police confirmed the arrests but are yet to reveal details of the charges. This brings the total number of arrests under the controversial Hong Kong’s law now to 32.
Giggs’ arrest comes amid a steep decline in press freedom and media worker safety in Hong Kong. Police arrested producer Choy Yuk Ling on November 3 in relation to a Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) documentary about the 2019 Yuen Long mob attacks. Tony Chung, a former leader of student activist group Studentlocalism, was charged with secession, money laundering and conspiracy to publish seditious material on October 27. However, authorities are in the process of investigating the conduct of police under the national security law, with the Hong Kong High Court granting a judicial review application regarding police operations on November 19, describing the current police complaints system as “inadequate”.
The IFJ said: “The arrest of Wan Yiu-sing is clear evidence of how Hong Kong’s freedom is under attack with Beijing’s imposition of its national security law. The IFJ urges the release of Wan and his companions and for full details of the allegations to be made public.”