Chinese authorities seize shipment of toilet paper with images of Hong Kong’s leader printed on it

The pictures of Leung Chun-yung were unflattering caricatures

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The Independent Online

Chinese authorities have seized 8,000 rolls of toilet paper with images of Hong Kong’s leader printed on them.

The papers bear the image of Leung Chun-yung, the pro-Beijing Chief Executive of the territory.

Lo Kin-hei, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, which printed the rolls, said the product were due to be sold at a market during Chinese New Year's later this month.

The seizure comes after major protests in Hong Kong calling for increased democracy in the territory. Protesters accused Leung Chun-yung of being a puppet of the Chinese government.

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Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's chief executive

“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,” Mr Lo said.

Last year the party printed 4,000 rolls of the toilet paper, all of which sold out, he added.

This year the merchandise were ordered from a factory in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Orders were placed under the name of friends to obscure the party as the true buyer.

Mr Lo said he was worried about what might happened to the owner of the factory who printed the rolls, and that the papers’ seizure had worrying implications for free speech in Hong Kong.

“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,” he said.

“It's alarmful 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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