In children’s books, it is about the sheep that opposed the wolves who decided to take over their village. In the sheep, the PRC authorities saw Hong Kong, in the wolves – Beijing itself.
The 38-year-old and 50-year-old residents of Kowloon and Hong Kong were arrested for possessing several books from the Yangcun series, which was declared inflammatory by the Chinese authorities,” Quartz reported.
Searches were carried out in the homes of both men, as a result of which the police seized the books and sent their owners to the police station. The authorities interpreted the characters as representatives of Hong Kong and the Chinese government, and used the colonial-era sedition law.
After finding out the necessary information, they were released on bail, but must report to the police next month, writes BBC.
Yangcun are small paperback books with colorful illustrations and different stories used by speech therapists in their work with children. The Yangcun books and their animated electronic version depict sheep trying to hold back wolves that have come to take over their village. The authorities decided that this was a “brainwashing exercise” because they saw in the sheep and wolves a reference to Hong Kong and the Beijing government.
In the books, sheep stand up to invader wolves. The series was also released in electronic form with animation
As a result, five members of the Federation of Speech Therapists who published the books went to jail. Federation Chairman Lai Man Ling, his deputy Yun Yi, secretary Ng Qiao Yi, treasurer Chan Yuen Sen, and committee member Fang Jihao were sent to prison for 19 months for attempting to provoke a rebellion against the state. The Beijing-backed judge ruled that they were “conspiring to publish, distribute and display the three books with rebellious intent.” Before sentencing last September, they had already spent 12 months in prison.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China with the principle of “one country, two systems”, which should provide its citizens with freedoms not possible in mainland China. However, since Beijing passed a national security law in 2020 designed to quell the massive democratic protests that have rocked Hong Kong since 2019, those rights have been severely curtailed. For example, many materials about the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, which are perceived by the authorities as supporting it, have been censored over the past few years. Films that the leadership believes are contrary to China’s national security interests are banned.
Anyone who dares to disobey can go to jail for three years and receive a fine of 130 tf. dollars. Students were ordered to refrain from singing songs, slogans, or holding events containing political messages. The Hong Kong Museum bowed to pressure and removed some of the work of the dissident artist Ai Weiwei from its exhibition. Several pro-democracy books, including those written by jailed activist Joshua Wong, have been removed from public libraries.
Earlier, Focus wrote that the Chinese press criticized the failure of the Russian Federation in the war in Ukraine.
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