Curious case of “seditious” sheep: a lawsuit opens in Hong Kong over the controversial content of children’s books

In Hong Kong, a five-day trial began over illustrated children’s books that apparently had “seditious” content. Notably, the trade unionists pleaded not guilty to having published such content. The books were published by the now defunct Hong Kong General Union of Speech-Language Pathologists.

Last July, Chinese authorities arrested five speech therapists in Hong Kong for sedition. They are said to have published children’s books containing anti-Beijing sentiment.

Now The Therapists are finally on trial for a series of books about a village of sheep and a village of wolves.

Local Hong Kong media, familiar with the contents, reported that the books distinguished the two cities as good and bad. In the books, the wolf society bore a striking resemblance to mainland China.

According to reports, the books depicted a society of wolves monitored by CCTV cameras. The children’s books showed the wolves plotting an infiltration of the sheep village after their shepherd left.

The contents of the books are said to have been suspiciously similar to China, Hong Kong, and the former British government. There are references to actual political controversies, such as the arrest of would-be Hong Kong escapees.

As quoted by the South China Morning Post, Laura Ng Shuk-kuen, who is the lead prosecutor, said: “[The books’] combined effect was to influence or educate readers not to be Chinese nor to have a sense of belonging to the country. »

“[The books] effectively instilled in readers [sentiments of] separatism, tribalism and betrayal of their country, resulting in the loss of national identity, as well as attacks on Chinese sovereignty, territorial integrity and the long-term stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region said Shuk-kuen, translated by the SCMP. .

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Elna M. Lemons