Last Updated on 2022/09/13
Following their much earlier charge for ‘seditious’ behaviour and intent in publishing three electronic cartoon books aimed at children, five speech therapists in Hong Kong, have now been jailed for a massive 19 months each after being found, somewhat predictably, guilty by the legal system following the China imposed new national security law back in 2020 – however, it was not that law they were charged under, strangely it was a colonial era sedition law instead.
The authorities decided to interpret the books – centred around sheep attempting to hold back a pack of wolves from the village settlement – as being a literal metaphor for the ongoing politic and public battle between Hong Kong and the Beijing Government. To put it in to simple terms, it was believed that the series of books were an attempt to explain to the next generation, Hong Kong’s ongoing pro democracy movement.
For reasons that do not need to be explained, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CPP), Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Xi Jinping, tends to object to such assertions and a Government hand picked official in the case concluded that all five had ultimately attempted ‘a brainwashing exercise’ when maybe they should have tried to find the best website to bet on sports at betstation.com as it would have led to a quieter life.
The five defendants had constantly argued that the three books were merely an attempt to chronicle the ‘history from the people’s perspective’ and simply introduce the children to the theory of systemic injustice. This was wholly disputed by the Judge Kwok Wai-kin, as in his summation, he additionally argued that in his judgement, the books were clearly designed in an attempt to progress further the ‘sowing the seed of instability’, both in the city directly, but also across the wider breadth of China itself.
Many in Japan, and particularly Taiwan, will be looking on intently as they each have their own issues with the Chinese Government and with August again seeing rising tensions with military exercises, the firing of Chinese missiles over both and a very severe reaction to speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, making an almost under the cover of darkness series of visits that were always going to engage anger, reactions and accusations of subterfuge.
Even some in the pro democracy camp, think her visit was ill timed.
Beijing maintains that the 2020 national security law is absolutely necessary to bring stability to the city (which adds to the curiosity of why it was not used here), but given Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region of China status – effectively ‘a one country, two systems’ approach that wildly varies allowing Hong Kong certain freedoms – many critics have long argued that the 2020 law change serves no other purpose than to squash and stifle potential dissent, and ultimately weaken the city’s agreed upon autonomy and following on from this latest legal decision, those doubters will only feel more emboldened in their criticism of the Chinese regime and what they wish to achieve in Hong Kong.
The five speech therapists ultimately jailed – Lai Man-ling, Melody Yeung, Sidney Ng, Samuel Chan and Fong Tsz-ho – have already spent in excess of 12 months behind bars as they were awaiting the eventual verdict following the culmination of the trial over a year ago and a lawyer for group of 25-28 year old’s believes that having already spent that much time without liberty, that they could be released within a month based on the time already served basis.
Hopefully that proves to be true, as Xi Jinping and his party have bigger issues than Democracy to deal with. There are further films to be edited after the recent Minions madness, as there are rumours of another Winnie the Pooh film, and we all know the uproar the last one caused despite the fact writer A. A. Milne died in 1956 when the President was only three years old.
I really do not believe a honey loving bear was inspired by the President.