Police arrested a student activist for instigating people online to follow his lead in removing all books written in simplified Chinese characters in public libraries.
Alvin Cheng Kam-mun, 27, who founded the now-defunct Student Front in 2014 and is currently a member of radical localist group Civic Passion, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the group’s booth outside the MTR Shau Kei Wan station, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
He was charged with theft and “accessing a computer with criminal or dishonest intent”, but was granted bail. Civic Passion members fetched him from the Chai Wan Division police station.
Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau has taken over the case.
Cheng rose to fame during the 2014 Occupy protests with the nickname “4 Eyes Brother”.
He said his arrest was ridiculous and a form of political repression.
He pledged to continue fighting to preserve Hong Kong’s core values and never to compromise his principles.
His arrest came after police received a report on Tuesday that a man uploaded a video footage showing himself removing simplified-Chinese books from shelves of a public library. The man was confirmed to be Cheng.
In the more than one minute video clip posted on his Facebook account last Saturday, Cheng called on Hong Kong people to launch a “library war” by going to public libraries and removing books in simplified Chinese to join the fight against brainwashing by Beijing.
In the video footage, Cheng is seen in a public library in Mong Kok throwing those books into trash bins and hiding them in the gaps of bookshelves and in a closet for firefighting tools.
Citing media reports, he said that since 2006 public libraries have bought about 600,000 copies of simplified-Chinese books, many of which are for children.
Cheng said the books were aimed at brainwashing the minds of Hong Kong’s next generation.
Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah told Legislative Council’s finance committee Wednesday that no one is allowed to vandalize properties in libraries, adding that his bureau is taking the case seriously.
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