In an assault on freedom of expression, a court in China sentenced a successful novelist, Ms. Liu, to 10 years in prison on October 31 for including explicit homoerotic content in her work. The charge against her was making and selling obscene
material for profit. Information about the case has just recently been circulated online, generating a widespread outcry on social media against censorship as well as the disproportionate and excessive severity of her sentence.
The writer, who uses the pen name Tianyi, was arrested in 2017, after the publication of her novel Occupy . Pornography is illegal in China . The 1997 penal code forbids depicting sexual acts except for medical or artistic purposes.
According to police in Anhui Province, in eastern China, the book described obscene behavior between males, including violence, abuse, and humiliation.
A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library , a new comic book has been pulled from publication at the behest of the PC lynch mob.
The graphic novel, written by the Newbery medal-winning author Jack Gantos and illustrated by Sandman artist Dave McKean, it is part of a series linked by 'sitting' and was due to be released in May 2019. The book is pretty much a morality tale.
It follows a suicide bomber who changes his mind once he discovers the joys of reading.
A group called the Asian Author Alliance responded with a call for the book to be censored. In an open letter, 1000 signatories said the book was steeped in Islamophobia and profound ignorance. The letter continued :
The simple fact is that today, the biggest terrorist threat in the US is white supremacy. In publishing A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library, [publisher] Abrams is wilfully fear-mongering and spreading harmful stereotypes in a failed attempt to
show the power of story.
As criticism of the comic spread online, McKean, one of the UK's most acclaimed comics illustrators, responded , saying that the book was firmly on the side of literacy, empathy and non-violence. He tweeted:
The premise of the book is that a boy uses his mind and faith to decide for himself that violence is not the right course
I had just this anxiety when the script came to me. I just hoped we'd moved beyond each of us only being able to talk to and from our own little cultural bubble.
Abrams announced the cancellation of the comic saying in a statement that it had decided to withdraw it, with the support of McKean and Gantos:
While the intention of the book was to help broaden a discussion about the power of literature to change lives for the better, we recognise the harm and offence felt by many at a time when stereotypes breed division, rather than discourse.
Kuwait's book censors have been very busy of late banning 4,390 books since 2014, hundreds of them this year.
Recent targets include an encyclopedia with a picture of Michelangelo's David and a Disney version of The Little Mermaid . David had no fig leaf, and the mermaid, alas, wore half a bikini.
Shamayel al-Sharikh, a Kuwaiti women's activist explained that the powers that be thought her dress was promiscuous.
Sometimes the 12-member censors committee (six Arabic readers, six English readers) that rules on books for the Ministry of Information gives a reason: The anthology Why We Write was banned because its editor, Meredith Maran, had falsely
accused her father of molestation.
In other cases, the justification is obscure, such as with The Art of Reading , by Damon Young. Maya Angelou's memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , is forbidden in Kuwait.
One Hundred Years of Solitude , by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, is banned because of a scene in which a wife sees her husband naked, as is Children of Gebelawi , by Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz, the first
Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel in literature.