Hong Kong police on Thursday arrested 5 commerce union members over kids’s books they described as seditious, and a court docket denied bail for 4 editors and journalists held on costs of endangering nationwide safety — every a part of a widening crackdown on dissent within the metropolis.
The 5 who have been arrested are members of the General Association of Hong Kong Speech Therapists, in line with native media reviews.
The affiliation revealed three kids’s books that Li Kwai-wah, a senior superintendent of the nationwide safety division, stated have seditious intent.
The books characteristic tales that revolve round a village of sheep that has to cope with wolves from a special village. The sheep take motion, like occurring strike or escaping by boat, in line with the synopses revealed on the affiliation’s web site.
Books geared toward younger readers, official says
Li stated that the tales referenced the 12 Hong Kong activists who have been arrested at sea whereas making an attempt to flee town, after most of them have been charged in reference to huge anti-government protests in 2019.
There was additionally a narrative about wolves who’re “cruel and try to occupy the area” the place the sheep reside, and attempt to kill them, Li stated.
“Of course, when we prosecute the case, we are not the one to prove that these materials have actually caused the inciting to others,” stated Li.
“And the children, maybe because of the information inside … can turn their mind and develop a moral standard against the society.”
The 2019 rallies calling for extra civil rights and common suffrage shook Hong Kong for months, usually descending into violence between police and protesters. Beijing responded final yr with a sweeping nationwide safety legislation that critics say restricts freedoms promised to the previous British colony that aren’t discovered on mainland China.
The publishing of such books “brings hatred against the government and administration of justice, and (incites) violence to others,” Li stated.
He added that the books focused kids between the ages of 4 and 7.
No bail for arrested journalists
On Thursday, a Hong Kong court docket denied bail to 4 prime editors and journalists from the now-defunct Apple Daily pro-democracy newspaper. They have been arrested Wednesday on costs of conspiracy to collude with international powers to hazard nationwide safety.
So far, eight former workers have been arrested. Apply Daily ceased operations in June after $2.three million US in belongings have been frozen and police raided the newspaper’s places of work, confiscating laborious drives and laptops.
The nationwide safety legislation criminalizes secessionism, subversion, terrorism and international collusion within the metropolis’s affairs.
Since it was carried out, greater than 100 pro-democracy supporters have been arrested and lots of others have fled overseas.