5 core members including chairwoman of General Union of HK Speech Therapists arrested for publishing seditious materials under National Security Law

Chairwoman Lai Man Ling

22nd July 2021 – (Hong Kong) After in-depth investigation, officers from the National Security Service of the Police Force arrested 2 men and 3 women, aged between 25 and 28, in various districts across Hong Kong today (22), alleging that they were suspected of conspiring to publish seditious materials.

According to sources, the five arrestees were the backbone members of General Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists including Chairwoman Lai Man Ling. At about 10.30am in the morning, the National Security Department officers escorted one of the arrested persons back to the office located in Room 1011, Block B, Hung Hom Commercial Centre, to search for evidence.

Half an hour later, a group of people from the National Security Department left and took away 4 boxes of exhibits. According to sources, the staff of the National Security Department will use the power under the National Security Law to apply to the Secretary of Security for authorisation to request the removal of the union’s illegal information on the Internet and will also issue a “Letter of No Consent” (LNC)  to the relevant banks, freeze its bank accounts in relation to publication of three seditious materials.

The arrested persons were suspected of conspiring to publish, distribute, display or copy seditious publications from the middle of last year to this year, with the intent to incite hatred of the public, especially young children, towards the Hong Kong government and the Hong Kong judiciary. There was also incitement to use violence and non-compliance with law.

The National Security Department also froze about HK$160,000 in assets of the union involved. The arrested men and women are now being detained for investigation, and the operation is still continuing. The police do not rule out further arrests.

General Union of Hong Kong Speech Therapists was established in 2019. It has published 3 children’s picture books related to the social movement against the revision of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance in 2019.

The union even planned to have a book reading session on 25th July for children aged 5-8. The original purpose of making the illustration book was to tell the origin of the anti-extradition movement through the form of a story. Children aged 5-8 were invited to attend with their parents.