Activists held after attack on DAB-sponsored show

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 May, 2010, 12:00am

Violence flared over political sponsorship of radio programmes in an attack on a DAB-sponsored live broadcast early yesterday.

Four activists from the Web radio FM 101 and a cameraman were arrested after an incident involving a radio crew car at a barbeque site in Tai Mei Tuk, Tai Po.

Photos of Lam Bun - an icon of free speech who was believed to have been murdered in 1967 because of critical comments of leftist rioters he made on Commercial Radio - were stuck on the car during an early morning live broadcast.

Police, who were alerted at about 4.40am, said Commercial Radio staff had told them that activists had hit a car window and were yelling.

The live broadcast was part of a series called Night Rider 18 which is sponsored by the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong involving young DAB politicians chatting live to troubled teenagers. It is being aired over 18 weeks and broadcast from 2am to 6am every Saturday morning.

The programme is co-hosted by Commercial Radio regular presenters and five second-tier members of the DAB.

The five men arrested, aged from 16 to 37, were held for causing disorder in a public place. They were released on HK$500 bail after being questioned at Tai Po police station yesterday afternoon. They must report back to police in mid-June.

FM 101 co-founder Leung Wing-lai, who was involved in the incident, said he was dissatisfied with the sponsored programme.

'The programme is to promote a political stance. We requested an interview to talk about Lam Bun's death and their response on the sponsored radio programme,' he said.

Commercial Radio later issued a statement saying the station condemned any violence against the show and that it respected freedom of speech.

DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung said he felt sad about the incident. 'The programme is on care and livelihood issues.'

DAB member Vincent Cheng Wing-shun, the programme host, said the party respected freedom of speech. 'The programme is to show concern to the community.

'It doesn't promote a political stance. It is better to have peaceful communication. We don't want to see any violence towards the show,' he said.