Hong Kong man jailed for publishing children’s books


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Five Hong Kongers were convicted Saturday of “sedition” and sentenced to 19 months in prison for publishing a series of children’s books that portrayed Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters as sheep defending their villages from wolves.

A Hong Kong court sentenced five speech therapists to 19 months in prison on Saturday (September 10) for publishing a children’s book depicting democracy activists as sheep facing wolves.

They were convicted on Wednesday of “sedition,” a law inherited from British colonial times and used by current authorities to suppress dissent along with Beijing’s 2020 national security law.

Lai Wenling, Yang Meiling, Wu Shishi, Chen Sihao and Fang Zihao, all founding members of the speech therapists union behind it, were detained for more than a year before the trial.

The books were published in 2020, just a year after the pro-democracy movement launched its massive and often violent protests.

On Saturday, three of the five members said they had no regrets in the face of Judge Guo Weijian, who again called the posts a “brainwashing exercise.”

Melody Yeung, 28, even assured that she still wants to be on the sheep’s side. “My only regret is that I wasn’t able to publish more books until I was arrested,” she told the court.

Sidney Ng, 27, said through his lawyer that the lawsuits “have the effect of intimidating civil society and alienating Hong Kongers”.

Prosecutors argued that the picture books displayed “anti-Chinese sentiment” and were intended to “incite readers’ hatred of the authorities in mainland China”.

with AFP


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