Police from Hong Kong’s national security department have arrested five members of a trade union. The five, detained early on Thursday morning, are being held on suspicion of “conspiring to publish seditious publications” under section 10 of the Crimes Ordinance.
The two men and three women, aged 25 to 28, are being held for further investigation, the force told HKFP.
The five are members of The General Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists, according to local media reports.
The department has also frozen around HK$160,000 of the union’s assets.
“They are suspected of conspiring to publish, distribute, display or replicate seditious publications between mid-last year and this year, with the intention to cause hatred, incite the use of violence and to not abide by the law among members of the public, especially in children, towards the SAR government and Hong Kong judiciary.” its statement read.
Sheep village story book
The union had published a series of children’s story books called “Sheep Village Guardian” to help parents and teachers teach five to eight year old children about “events in Hong Kong in 2019.” During that time, the city saw city-wide pro-democracy protests and unrest against a bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to China.
One story describes how a village of sheep resisted an invasion by wolves.
The police warned members of the public against publishing “seditious” material and to “not glorify violence.” It added that the operation was ongoing and did not rule out further arrests.
People found guilty of violating section 10 of the Crimes Ordinance are liable to a fine of HK$5,000 and up to two years in prison.