Hong Kong unionists have pleaded not responsible to publishing “seditious” materials as a five-day trial started over illustrated youngsters’s books.
The case revolves round a collection of books printed by the now-defunct Normal Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists that featured cartoon sheep and wolves, which prosecutors mentioned had been analogies for Hong Kong residents and mainland Chinese language that had been supposed to “incite hatred” towards the latter.
On the primary day of the trial on Tuesday, prosecutor Laura Ng mentioned the books characterised the 2 teams as hostile in direction of one another.
“Hong Kong residents are weak minorities, Chinese language rulers are cold-blooded, totalitarian and brutal, and mainland Chinese language are thugs,” Ng mentioned.
Ng alleged defendants brazenly admitted to having based mostly these books on the political turmoil and avenue protests that started in 2019 over a contentious extradition invoice.
One of many books, titled The 12 Warriors of Sheep Village, was linked by the prosecutor to the seize of 12 Hong Kong fugitives by Chinese language authorities in 2020.
She alleged that one of many books known as for Hong Kong residents to take up arms and use violence towards authorities, whereas one other known as for international interference within the territory’s judicial course of.
A 3rd ebook was mentioned to have blamed mainland Chinese language for the Covid pandemic, portraying them as “egocentric, uncivilised and unhygienic”, which may incite separatist emotions amongst Hong Kong residents, Ng alleged.
The unionists had been arrested by nationwide safety police in July final 12 months and have been in custody since, with bail functions denied.
The defendants, two males and three girls of their 20s, had been govt committee members of the union.
They collectively face the cost of “conspiracy to print, publish, distribute, show and/or reproduce seditious publications” beneath the colonial-era crimes ordinance, with a most penalty of two years in jail.
Unique creator – Sum Lok-kei in Hong Kong
Initially posted by – www.theguardian.com