A Hong Kong book publisher was on Wednesday sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 250,000 yuan (US$40,100) by a Shenzhen court in case that has sent shockwaves through Hong Kong’s publishing and media circles, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
Yiu Mantin, 73, the owner of Morning Bell Press, was arrested in October last year and charged with smuggling goods worth 1.34 million yuan and evading tax to the amount of 745,600 yuan.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association, independent commentators and publishing industry professionals however think the real reason for Yao’s sentence is because he was planning to publish a book titled “China’s God father: Xi Jinping”, the report said.
Sham Yee-lan, chairwoman of the journalists association, was quoted as saying that everyone knows that the case has nothing to do with smuggling, but about book publishing.
Yiu’s son, who lives in the United States, said the Chinese government tried to make an example out of his father to warn Hong Kong people about crossing the line on press freedom. He said they will definitely appeal the ruling.
In the book, the author Yu Jie, a Chinese writer and democracy activist, is said to describe Xi’s “China dream” as being equal to the Nazis’ “Dream of the third Empire” and compare him with some famous dictators in history.
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