Hong Kong Security Law: Pro-Democracy Books Removed From School Libraries

On July 5, South China Morning Post had reported that Hong Kong libraries have taken at least nine books written by localist and democracy advocates out of circulation for conducting a review of whether the books breach the new national security law.

India   |   7 July 2020 8:04 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-07-28T13:43:14+05:30
Writer : Navya Singh | Editor : Prateek Gautam | Creatives : Abhishek M
Hong Kong Security Law: Pro-Democracy Books Removed From School Libraries

Image Credit: Wikimedia

After China imposed the National Security law on Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Education Bureau has asked schools to review and remove books that may breach the draconian law.

"If any teaching materials including books have content which is outdated or involve the four crimes under the law, unless they are being used to positively teach pupils about their national security awareness or sense of safeguarding national security ... they should otherwise be removed from the school," a spokesperson for the bureau said.

"Schools have a gatekeeping role in terms of choosing suitable teaching resources. The bureau would take serious follow-up actions if any problems arise over the issue," he added.

On July 5, South China Morning Post had reported that Hong Kong libraries have taken at least nine books written by localist and democracy advocates out of circulation for conducting a review of whether the books breach the new national security law.

Bar Association chairman Philip Dykes called the move to be "alarming" and said that the authorities need to explain why they are restricting the public's right to seek information.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which manages the city's public libraries, had said that it was scrutinising some books for compliance with the new law.

The Chinese-language books were written by activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, localist Horace Chin Wan-kan and Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan.

Beijing passed the stringent law late last month that targets acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison for the most serious offences.

In addition, Hong Kong also released more details of the new national security law on July 6 that permits security forces to enter and search properties for evidence and stop people from leaving the city.

While authorities have maintained that the law will only target a minority of what they call "troublemakers", diplomats, business groups and activists have said it will allow Beijing to tighten its grip on the city.

Beijing slapped the legislation on Hong Kong, world's sixth largest financial hub, despite protests from Hong Kongers and Western nations.

Also Read: India Raises Concerns Over China's Controversial Security Law In Hong Kong, Urges UN To "Objectively" Address Issue

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