Hong Kong speech therapists jailed over children’s books

Hong Kong

Five speech therapists in Hong Kong have been accused of brainwashing children after they wrote children’s books involving sheep and wolves. The five therapists, who are all between 25-28 years old, have been sentenced to 19 months each in prison.

The books tell stories about a village of sheep trying to stop a pack of wolves from invading their home. In one book, 12 of the sheep are forced to leave the village. The court believed this was a reference to 12 Hong Kong activists who tried to flee the city to Taiwan as fugitives but were caught by Chinese authorities.

Judge W K Kwok said the books were meant to brainwash children to agree with the authors’ views. The therapists were sentenced for “conspiracy to print, publish, distribute, display and/or reproduce seditious publications.”

The five being sentenced are Lorie Lai, Melody Yeung, Sidney Ng, Samuel Chan, and Marco Fong.

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The authors’ defenders argued that the charges were unconstitutional because they were inconsistent with their freedoms of expression protected under Hong Kong law. The authors said the books told the story of “the people’s perspective” on history.

In July, the United Nations Human Rights Committee also called on Hong Kong to repeal its sedition law, saying it was concerned about its use to limit citizens’ right to freedom of speech.

Time will tell what the recently sentenced authors’ fates will be.

SOURCE: BBC | CNN

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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