5 members of speech therapists union arrested use children’s books to ‘beautify’ illegal protests

Senior Superintendent of the National Security Service, Steve Li Kwai-Wah

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.

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.

At 1.48pm, one of the persons involved were escorted to a building at No. 13A Yuen Chau Kok Road, Sha Tin for further search. After half an hour, he was taken away.  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 to freeze its bank accounts in relation to publication of three seditious materials.

The police held a press conference in the afternoon to explain the case. Senior Superintendent of the National Security Department, Steve Li Kwai-Wah, said that police carried operation in different places in Hong Kong this morning and arrested 5 people on suspicion of conspiring to publish seditious materials. They were all members of a speech therapist union, including the chairman, deputy chairman, secretary and treasurer. Police officers also visited their union address, workplace and residences, found 550 books, leaflets, and telephones. Police also froze HK$160,000 owned by the union.

Li criticised that the arrested persons used children’s cartoon books to beautify illegal activities, such as beautifying anti-extradition demonstrators, heroising the 12 fugitives who attempted to escape to Taiwan, rationalising strikes by medical staff, and aiming at poisoning children and advocating public for non-compliance of law. He criticised that speech therapists play an extremely important role in the medical and educational systems, but they use their professional identities to instil bias, confrontation, and anti-government claims, which is outrageous.

As to whether the printer of the books has violated the law, police need to know know whether the printer is aware of the content of the book. Li also pointed out that citizens are allowed to criticise the government by speech but the most important thing is that there should be no incitement and hatred of the government.