Hong Kong men arrested over ‘seditious’ children’s book

Two men have been arrested in Hong Kong for possessing copies of a children’s book that authorities have deemed “seditious”.

Police and customs officers arrested the men, aged 38 and 50, after raiding their homes and seizing several copies of the book.

The books, which are part of a series called “Yangcun”, tell the story of a group of sheep who fight against wolves who try to take over their village and eat them.

Authorities interpreted the figures as representative of Hong Kong and the Chinese government, and used a colonial-era sedition law to arrest the men, Quartz reported.

The men have been released on bail but are due to report to police next month, the BBC reported.

Authorities used the colonial-era Sedition Act to arrest the men for possessing children’s books.
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Yangcun’s books already troubled Hong Kong last year, when five speech therapists who published the books were jailed for 19 months after a Beijing-backed judge found they “conspired to publish, distribute and display three books with seditious intent,” reported The Guardian. .

The latest arrests, however, appear to be the first instance of citizens being arrested simply for possessing books deemed seditious by authorities, the outlet noted.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, with a “one country, two systems” principle that is supposed to grant its citizens certain freedoms that are not possible in mainland China.

Residents, however, have seen those rights rolled back in recent years after Beijing introduced its 2020 national security law, intended to quell widespread pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong from 2019.


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