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Hong Kong judge finds five guilty over children's books

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By Leo Sands

BBC News

Image shows children's book displayed in courtImage source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Hong Kong police display content from one of the children’s books at a press conference in July

A Hong Kong judge has found five speech therapists guilty of publishing seditious children’s books.

Their books – about sheep trying to hold back wolves from their village – were interpreted by authorities as having an overtly political message.

After a two-month trial a government-picked national security judge said their “seditious intention” was clear.

It comes amid part of a wider crackdown on civil liberties by Chinese authorities in the city.

The group of five speech therapists, who were founding members of a union, produced three cartoon e-books that some interpreted as trying to explain Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement to children.

“The seditious intention stems not merely from the words, but from the words with the proscribed effects intended to result in the mind of children,” wrote Judge Kwok Wai-kin in his judgement.

Lai Man-ling, Melody Yeung, Sidney Ng, Samuel Chan and Fong Tsz-ho, who were all found guilty, had already been held in jail for more than a year ahead of Wednesday’s verdict.

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