- Title: Democracy activists' books unavailable in Hong Kong libraries after new law
- Date: 6th July 2020
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (JULY 6, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF HONG KONG CENTRAL LIBRARY PEDESTRIANS WALKING ON FOOTBRIDGE TO HONG KONG CENTRAL LIBRARY (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 29-YEAR-OLD HONG KONG RESIDENT WORKING IN DIGITAL MARKETING INDUSTRY, TERRENCE CHUNG, SAYING: "The degree of freedom of speech is becoming more like in mainland China now. The chances for these books (which are now under review) to appear in the libraries again are very small. If the public wants to read these books in the future, they may need to find them in independent bookstores." STAIRCASE OUTSIDE HONG KONG CENTRAL LIBRARY'S ENTRANCE SIGN READING (Chinese / English): "HONG KONG CENTRAL LIBRARY" (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 31-YEAR-OLD UNEMPLOYED HONG KONG RESIDENT, YANNIS KAM, SAYING: "I think it's fine to put books under review because we need to check whether they are appropriate for children or some groups of people...maybe some people have extreme political viewpoints, we don't know what those people would do (after reading these books)." OPEN AREA NEXT TO HONG KONG CENTRAL LIBRARY STATUE OF TWO CHILDREN READING BOOKS DIRECTION SIGNS TO LIBRARY AND EXHIBITION GALLERY ADULT AND CHILDREN WAITING OUTSIDE LIBRARY (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 30-YEAR-OLD HONG KONG RESIDENT WORKING IN MEDICAL INDUSTRY, PETER CHAN, SAYING: "It's obvious that this happens because of the implementation of the national security law. It's just the beginning. I can foresee that there will be more political oppression in the future." ENTRANCE TO HONG KONG CENTRAL LIBRARY EXHIBITION GALLERY STATUE AT ENTRANCE CHINESE AND HONG KONG FLAGS FLYING
- Embargoed: 20th July 2020 11:30
- Keywords: Beijing China Chinese communist party Hong Kong book democracy library national security law
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA001CLO6PTZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Books by prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy figures have become unavailable in the Chinese-ruled city's public libraries as they are being reviewed to see whether they violate a new national security law, a government department said on Sunday (July 5).
The sweeping legislation, which came into force on Tuesday (June 30) night at the same time its contents were published, punishes crimes related to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison.
Hong Kong public libraries "will review whether certain books violate the stipulations of the National Security Law," the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which runs the libraries, said in a statement. "While legal advice will be sought in the process of the review, the books will not be available for borrowing and reference in libraries."
Hong Kong resident Terrence Chung, 29, who works in the digital marketing industry said he believes the move is an example of political oppression in the city.
"The degree of freedom of speech is becoming more like in mainland China now. The chances for these books (which are now under review) to appear in the libraries again are very small," he said.
A search for books by young activist Joshua Wong or pro-democracy politician Tanya Chan on the public libraries website showed the books, including "Unfree Speech," co-authored by Wong, either unavailable or under review.
(Production: Yoyo Chow)
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