Hong Kong speech therapists sentenced to 19 months for books

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FILE – Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of Police Nationwide Safety Division, poses with three youngsters’s books that revolve round a village of sheep which has to cope with wolves from a special village in Hong Kong on July 22, 2021. A Hong Kong court docket sentenced 5 speech therapists to almost two years in jail Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022 for his or her position within the publication of childrens books guidelines as seditious. (AP Picture/Vincent Yu, File)

HONG KONG – A Hong Kong court docket sentenced 5 speech therapists to almost two years in jail Saturday for his or her position within the publication of kids’s books deemed seditious.

The penalties are the most recent signal of China’s arduous line in opposition to free speech and any signal of political opposition within the metropolis following the 2019 antigovernment protests.

Beijing responded to the monthslong demonstrations by imposing a sweeping Nationwide Safety Regulation and disqualifying, imprisoning or silencing political opponents, lots of whom have sought asylum overseas.

The 5 defendants have already been jailed for greater than a yr and could also be eligible for early launch below the phrases of the 19-month sentence handed down Saturday. They’d pleaded not responsible however have been convicted of sedition Wednesday after they printed a sequence of kids’s books about sheep and wolves {that a} court docket mentioned was geared toward inciting hatred in opposition to authorities.


The clampdown has led to criticism that China’s ruling Communist Get together has reneged on a 1997 pledge when Hong Kong was handed over from Britain to China to retain town’s Western-style freedoms — together with free speech.

Hong Kong authorities have purged and imprisoned politicians and academics related to the pro-democracy camp, shut down newspapers and pulled publications and artworks seen as vital of the Communist Get together, which brooks no opposition.

Latest days have additionally seen the arrest of Ronson Chan, chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Affiliation, for allegedly refusing to supply identification whereas reporting a information story about housing.

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