A magistrate has extended the deadline for the founder of non-profit Citizens’ Radio “The Bull” Tsang Kin-shing as well as key member Poon Tat-keung to pay their fines for illegal broadcasting, despite the two hoping to be jailed instead.

Tsang, known as “The Bull,” appeared at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts on Tuesday with Poon after refusing to pay HK$2,100 and $4,000 respectively in fines for illegal broadcasting. The two expressed their wish to be incarcerated instead, stating that it was an act of civil disobedience.

In court, magistrate Abu Bakar bin Wahab said that in accordance with the Telecommunications Ordinance, the two can be sent to jail instead of paying a fine. However, he said he wanted to give the two reasonable time to think the decision through, and extended the deadline for the fines to September 30, reported Apple Daily.

Citizens’ Radio founder “The Bull” Tsang Kin-shing. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The two were convicted in February of transmitting messages by unlicensed means of telecommunications during October and November 2012.  They were respectively convicted of three counts and five counts of the charge.

After Tsang and Poon appeared in court, Citizens’ Radio said on Facebook that the two “would not pay the fines even if they had to die.”

Citizens’ Radio released a statement on September 4 stating Tsang and Poon’s stance. It said: “We carry out the act of civil disobedience not for wanting to challenge the judiciary system, which we treasure—but the Telecommunications Ordinance, which is against the spirit of the constitution [Basic Law].”

“We want to draw Hong Kong people’s attention to the declining freedom of speech and injustice in the licensing system,” the statement said.

“The Bull” Tsang Kin-shing founded non-profit radio station Citizens’ Radio in 2005, which counts lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung as one of its hosts. Tsang is also a member of pro-democracy political party League of Social Democrats.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.