HONG KONG, July 22 – Hong Kong police arrested five people on Thursday on sedition charges, saying that children’s books they had published featuring wolves and sheep as characters were aimed at inciting hatred towards the city’s government amongst youngsters.
The arrests were the latest involving suspected critics of Hong Kong’s government that have raised fears about the shrinking space for dissent since Beijing imposed a national security law in June 2020 to put an end to pro-democracy protests in the semi-autonomous city.
Police said one book, “Defenders of the Sheep Village,” was connected to the protests. In the story, wolves want to occupy the village and eat the sheep, who in turn use their horns to fight back.
Those arrested were members of a speech therapists’ union who produced books for children. Police said the five were two men and three women aged between 25 and 28. They did not identify them by name.
A police officer escorts one of five suspects, detained on suspicion of publishing and distributing seditious material, in Hong Kong, China July 22, 2021. Reuters