10 February 2023

“A seditious book about a series of riots...”

Six people arrested in Hong Kong on 17th January are facing sedition charges for selling a book documenting the city’s 2019–2020 pro-democracy protest movement. The untitled 300-page book went on sale on Christmas Day last year at a Lunar New Year fair at Ginza Plaza. It was distributed by the Shame on You Grocery Store (影衰mi杂货店), and forty-three copies were seized by police, who described it as “a seditious book about a series of riots”.

In 2021, the publishers of the Sheep Village (羊村) series of children’s books about the pro-democracy demonstrations were also arrested on sedition charges. (They were sentenced to nineteen months in prison last year.) The protest leaders—including Joshua Wong, a veteran of the 2014 ‘umbrella movement’—went on trial this week, charged under the Safeguarding National Security law imposed on Hong Kong by the Chinese government.