Hong Kong police have arrested five members of a speech therapist union for publishing a children’s book about wolves and sheep that authorities say “incites hatred of the government in children.”
The Hong Kong Speech Therapist Union published the trilogy, “Guardians of The Sheep Village” between June 2020 and this March.
The series describes the story of sheep resisting attacks from wolves to protect their home.
In the books, the wild wolves disguised themselves as sheep and infiltrated the flock to try to promote unequal wolf-sheep rules. Twelve sheep warriors then decided to stand up against the wolves but were forced to flee by boat. They were then caught by the wolves and put in prison.
On Thursday July 22, two men and three women, aged between 25 and 28, from the union were arrested by police over the books and froze the union’s assets of $160,000 Hong Kong dollars.
Authorities say the stories glorify the Hong Kong pro-democracy protest movement and heroize the 12 Hong Kong activists who tried to escape to Taiwan by boat but were captured by authorities last year.
“There is nothing wrong with criticizing the government, and it is important, but there must be no incitement to hatred against the government,” an official said, according to the local media.
“The public must recognize the truth, they must not tolerate or glorify violence, and they must not allow the next generation to be incited and led astray by inaccurate and misrepresented information,” police said.
The free e-books have since been deleted from Issuu.
This is the latest in a series of crackdowns on freedom of expression in Hong Kong after China imposed the sweeping National Security Law last year.