Civil disobedience in Hong Kong: “sensitive” content removed from school books

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Hong Kong publishers have been urged to remove “sensitive” content from some textbooks, media reported Thursday, amid growing control over educational freedom in the city after a draconian law was passed. national security.

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The evocation of “civil disobedience”, photos of certain slogans of the protest movement as well as the names of certain political parties have been removed from works used in the context of general culture courses given at school.

Censorship is a way to put an end to all dissent in Hong Kong territory shaken last year by months of sometimes violent protests in favor of more democracy.

Education is one of the areas sparking China’s greatest anger, with Hong Kong politicians loyal to Beijing believing that some schools offer support to pro-democracy protesters.

The general culture course, called “Liberal studies”, given in high school in order to forge critical thinking, has become a pet peeve for China as pro-Beijing politicians in Hong Kong demanded the establishment of a more “patriotic” education.

The Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union (HKPTU) accused the Hong Kong Bureau of Education, one of whose departments demanded these changes, of political censorship.

“It watered down or even distorted the reality of society,” said the HKPTU, calling on the authorities to guarantee freedom of education in the territory.

The agreement on the retrocession of the former British colony to China provided for guaranteeing certain freedoms in Hong Kong until 2047, notably those of expression and of the press, unknown in mainland China.

The National Security Law, which entered into force at the end of June, made certain political statements illegal overnight. Violators are liable to long prison terms.

This legislation, which was kept secret until its promulgation, has already led schools and libraries to remove books from their shelves.

The Hong Kong government defended itself against political censorship, saying the corrections will help students “develop positive values.”

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