Sunday, February 08, 2015

Tired of those b-o-r-i-n-g same old, same old federal election campaign attack ads? Time to try something new?

China seizes toilet paper bearing Hong Kong's Chief's image

The name of the factory that produced the toilet paper and tissue paper has not been revealed and the political party that placed the order is worried about missing factory owner

By Didi Tang
The Associated Press
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Toilet paper with the image of Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in a Hong Kong flat in December. (Issac Lawrence/AFP Getty Images)

BEIJING—Chinese authorities have seized 8,000 rolls of toilet paper and 20,000 packages of tissue paper printed with unflattering images of the territory’s pro-Beijing chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, according to an official of the small political party that placed the order.
The items were to be sold at a market during Chinese New Year later this month, said Lo Kin-hei, of the Hong Kong Democratic Party.
The seizure comes after Hong Kong was shaken after demonstrators for a massive pro-democracy movement demanded greater electoral freedom than Beijing is willing to grant. The protesters expressed anger at Leung, calling him a puppet of Beijing.
No reason was given for the seizure of the $12,900 worth of goods, Lo said.
“I guess (the Chinese authorities) don’t like people mocking government officials, especially high-ranking government officials after the movement. They have become more cautious about criticisms about them,” he said.
The party’s 4,000 rolls of toilet paper with Leung’s images sold out at last year’s seasonal market.
It was decided to get more rolls this year from a factory in the nearby Chinese city of Shenzhen, Lo said.
The images of Leung were cartoonish and unflattering.
One image has him bearing two fangs, and another has the word “lying” on his forehead. The sickle-and-hammer symbol of the Communist Party of China also was printed on some products.
The order was placed under the name of a friend to obscure the party as the true buyer, and all communications were done through the friend instead of the party, Lo said.
Lo declined to reveal the factory’s name and said he has no information on the whereabouts of the factory owner. “We are worried about what has happened to him,” Lo said.
Calls to Shenzhen police rang unanswered on Saturday, and there has been no official report about such a seizure of toilet paper.
Lo said he found the act worrisome as it indicates further tightening by Chinese authorities on freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in Hong Kong’s constitution.
“Many productions in Hong Kong rely on the mainland. This kind of tightening means in the future it will be more difficult to make products in the mainland,” Lo said.
“It’s alarming for Hong Kong people that they keep suppressing freedom in Hong Kong. We will become the mainland if this kind of mocking will be not allowed in Hong Kong.”


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