Five speech therapists have been sentenced to 19 months in prison each for publishing a series of “seditious” electronic children’s books in which a sheep tries to drive wolves out of its village, allegedly a metaphor for Beijing’s political interference in Hong Kong.
The five authors have argued that the books tell the story “from the people’s perspective,” but Judge Kwok Wai Kin has concluded that it sought to “brainwash” minors and “plant the seed of instability,” as reported by the BBC.
The convicts, Lai Man Ling, Melody Yeung, Sidney Ng, Samuel Chan and Fong Tsz-ho, have now been in prison for more than a year awaiting sentencing, so they hope to be released from prison soon for serving time, according to one of their lawyers. They are between 25 and 28 years old.
The sentence is based on a colonial-era law against sedition that is rarely used by the prosecution to charge suspects.
Hong Kong has a special autonomous regime within China, but the 2020 passage of the National Security Law has profoundly affected freedoms and contestation.