Three Hong Kong speech therapists who have been accused of sedition after publishing children’s books featuring sheep and wolves have had their bail revoked by the West Kowloon Magistrates Courts.
Fong Tsz-ho, 26, Sidney Ng Hau-yi, 28 and Samuel Chan Yuen-sum, 25, appeared before Principle Magistrate Peter Law on Monday after being informed by Hong Kong police that their bail had been revoked, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.
They are among five members of the General Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists who were arrested last month by the national security police and who have been accused of printing, publishing, distributing, displaying and/or reproducing seditious publications.
In addition to these accusations the group is also being accused of publishing the books in order to “incite persons to violence, and/or to counsel disobedience to law or to any lawful order.”
In Hong Kong, sedition is punishable by two years in prison and a fine of up to HK$5,000 (US$642.83) for a first offense.
The books — that have been confiscated by Hong Kong authorities — featured stories about a village of sheep who had to contend with a neighboring village of wolves. The sheep were interpreted to depict pro-democracy protesters who fought against riot police during the 2019 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
Steve Li, Senior Superintendent for the Hong Kong police force, told reporters at a news conference in July 2021 that the suspects sought to “stir hatred” among children against the city’s government and judicial system.
“Don’t think that these are simple story books,” Li told reporters. “These three books have a lot of seditious materials inside,” Nikkei Asia reported.
The books published are entitled “The Guardians of Sheep Village,” “The Cleaner of Sheep Village,” and “The 12 Brave Warriors of Sheep Village.”
The books had previously been deemed not suitable for children by Undersecretary for Education Christine Choi.
The five speech therapists are expected to appear in court again on September 24.