Activist Alvin Cheng Kam-mun was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly accessing a computer with dishonest or criminal intent, according to local media. Cheng uploaded a video on Saturday calling for “resistance” to library books printed in simplified Chinese.
The police arrested Cheng, a member of populist political party Civic Passion, as he was setting up a campaign stand on Hong Kong island.
Members of his group protested outside Chai Wan Police Station, where his supporters said he was giving testimony to police.
Cheng’s video on Facebook showed a person throwing books written in simplified Chinese characters into the libraries’ bins and hiding them in corners, such as in cabinets or behind lockers.
Simplified characters are a set of Chinese characters with a reduced numbers of strokes, currently in widespread use in China. However, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao have always maintained their use of traditional characters.
Posted by 四眼哥哥（鄭錦滿） on Saturday, 2 April 2016
Cheng said on his Facebook page that public libraries have “purchased up to 600,000 books in simplified Chinese characters, and many of them are children’s reading material, political in nature and sing the praises of the Chinese Communist government.”
He said “this sort of brainwashing education has already infiltrated communities and is poisoning our next generation.” He urged Hongkongers to take books with simplified characters down from their shelves and resist “red books with crippled characters.”
HKFP has contacted the police for comment.
Update 11:50am: Cheng has been granted bail and will report to the police in early May.