Push in UK to turn page on books ban

Local | Maisy Mok 25 May 2021

Hongkongers in Britain have launched a campaign calling for people to donate "banned books" in Hong Kong, which will be stored in libraries in the United Kingdom.

The UK-based expatriate association group said many books can no longer be kept in Hong Kong public libraries after the passing of the national security law.

It launched a "Free the Books" campaign yesterday, partnering with democratic activists Honcques Laus and Simon Cheng Man-kit to call on the public to donate books that are banned from Hong Kong's public libraries to the UK.

Currently, seven Chinese-language books that are banned from Hong Kong's public libraries are on their collection list, including pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung's book I am not a Hero and Hong Kong Nationalism by the 2013 Hong Kong University Students' Union. Hong Kong Nationalism is among nine books taken out of Hong Kong's public libraries this month by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department over national security concerns.

Hongkongers in Britain are currently in contact with libraries across the UK to store books banned in Hong Kong and has received approval from the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and the British Library.

"Under the repercussions of China's national security law in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong government has extirpated numerous books stored from the public libraries in order to impede the dissemination of knowledge and ideas, ban any dissenting theories and blatantly trample on freedom of speech, publication and thought," Hongkongers in Britain wrote in a statement.

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