Pro-democracy books pulled out of libraries in Hong Kong

Updated: Jul 06, 2020, 08:50 IST | Agencies | Hong Kong

Bar Association chairman Philip Dykes said the move was alarming and that the authorities needed to justify restricting the public's right to seek information

Exile Tibetan activists burn a copy of a new National Security Law for Hong Kong. Pic/AP
Exile Tibetan activists burn a copy of a new National Security Law for Hong Kong. Pic/AP

Hong Kong libraries have taken at least nine titles written by localist or democracy advocates out of circulation for conducting a review of whether the books run afoul of the new national security law, South China Morning Post reported on Sunday.

Bar Association chairman Philip Dykes said the move was alarming and that the authorities needed to justify restricting the public's right to seek information. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which manages the city's public libraries, confirmed it was scrutinising some books for compliance with the new law, without naming them.

The Chinese-language books were written by activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung, localist Horace Chin Wan-kan and Civic Party lawmaker Tanya Chan. A search of the nine titles on the library website on Saturday found all the titles marked "under review". The Post spoke to City Hall Public Library in its capacity as a reader and a staff member said the authorities were determining whether the books violated the new provisions.

"A new law has come into effect... So the Hong Kong authorities are reviewing these books to see if they stick to the new law or not, and under this situation, the books cannot be checked out for readers now," the employee said.

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