Hong Kong national security officers have arrested two men aged 39 and 50 for possessing publications that breached Hong Kong’s sedition law on 13 March.
Local media reports quoted police sources that the publication involved is the children’s book series “Sheep Village” which brought five speech therapists of The General Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists (GUHKST) to jail last year.
Five members of the GUHKST were convicted of “conspiring to publish, distribute, display or reproduce seditious publications” in connection with three child books deemed to be “provocative depictions” of mainland China in 2022. They were sentenced to 19 months in jail in September 2022 and released in October 2022 as they had been remanded in custody for over a year before trial.
On 13 March, Hong Kong national security police said they have arrested two men who possess multiple “seditious publications” which “provoke hatred or contempt” for the central government, the Hong Kong SAR government and Hong Kong’s judiciary. The police also accused the two men of inciting others to use violence and encouraging others to breach the law. The police searched the homes and offices of the two men and seized the publications with a court warrant.
In the concluding observation of the UN Human Rights Committee published in July 2022, UN experts rightly pointed out the adverse effect of the overly broad interpretation and arbitrary application of the Hong Kong sedition legislation, and its impact on the exercise of freedom of expression. The committee called upon the authorities to repeal the sedition laws and refrain from using them to suppress the expression of critical and dissenting opinions.