Hong Kong speech therapists sentenced to 19 months over kids’s books

A Hong Kong court docket has sentenced 5 speech therapists to just about two years in jail for his or her position within the publication of kids’s books deemed seditious.

The penalties are the newest signal of China’s exhausting line towards free speech and any signal of political opposition within the metropolis following the 2019 anti-government protests.

Beijing responded to the months-long demonstrations by imposing a sweeping Nationwide Safety Regulation and disqualifying, imprisoning or silencing political opponents, a lot 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 on Saturday.

Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the Police National Security Department, speaks in front of a screen showing evidence of three children’s books that revolve around a village of sheep which has to deal with wolves from a different village, before a press conference in Hong Kong
Li Kwai-wah, of the Police Nationwide Safety Division, speaks in entrance of a display exhibiting proof from three kids’s books that revolve round a village of sheep which has to take care of wolves from a special village, earlier than a press convention in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

They’d pleaded not responsible however have been convicted of sedition on Wednesday after they printed a collection of kids’s books about sheep and wolves {that a} court docket stated was aimed toward inciting hatred towards authorities.

The clampdown has led to criticism that China’s ruling Communist Social gathering 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 Social gathering, which brooks no opposition.

Current 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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