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

A Hong Kong courtroom has sentenced 5 speech therapists to almost two years in jail for his or her function within the publication of youngsters’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 anti-government protests.

Beijing responded to the months-long demonstrations by imposing a sweeping Nationwide Safety Legislation 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 12 months and could also be eligible for early launch underneath 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 youngsters’s books that revolve round a village of sheep which has to take care of wolves from a unique village, earlier than a press convention in Hong Kong (Vincent Yu/AP)

That they had pleaded not responsible however have been convicted of sedition on Wednesday after they printed a collection of youngsters’s books about sheep and wolves {that a} courtroom mentioned was aimed toward inciting hatred in opposition to authorities.

The clampdown has led to criticism that China’s ruling Communist Occasion 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 lecturers related to the pro-democracy camp, shut down newspapers and pulled publications and artworks seen as vital of the Communist Occasion, 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 offer identification whereas reporting a information story about housing.

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