Three more Hongkongers have been accused of sedition over children’s cartoon books featuring sheep and denied bail.
Sidney Ng Hau-yi, 28, Samuel Chan Yuen-sum, 25, and Fong Tsz-ho, 26, were among those who appeared at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Monday in front of Principal Magistrate Peter Law after they were informed by police that their bail had been revoked.
They are among a group of five members of the General Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists arrested last month by national security police.
The union chairperson Lai Man-ling, 26, and deputy chair Melody Yeung Yat-yee, 27, appeared in court last month and were remanded in custody. The other three were originally granted bail but have now been charged and had their bail revoked.
Lai and Yeung’s bail applications on Monday were also denied.
The group are accused of conspiring to “print, publish, distribute, display and/or reproduce seditious publications.”
They allegedly conspired with Wong Hoi-ching, another member of the union, in printing, publishing, and distributing three children’s books, Guardians of the Sheep Village, 12 Warriors of the Sheep Village, and Dustman of the Sheep Village intended to “bring into hatred of contempt or to excite disaffection” against the Hong Kong government and “the administration of justice in Hong Kong.”
The group was also accused of publishing the books with the intention to “incite persons to violence, and/or to counsel disobedience to law or to any lawful order.”
The prosecution applied to transfer the case to the District Court.
Under court reporting restrictions, written and broadcast reports are limited to the result of bail proceedings, the name of the person applying for bail and their representative, and the offence concerned.
The five will appear in court again on September 24 after giving up their right to bail review. Sedition, an offence dating back to the British colonial era, is punishable by two years in prison and a HK$5,000 fine for a first offence.
The speech therapists’ union was one of a number founded in 2019 during anti-government protests which swept the city that year.