Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Malaysia ban on political cartoon book challenged

Book ban challenged
By S. Tamarai Chelvi

KUALA LUMPUR (July 26, 2010): Malaysiakini, and cartoonist Zunar's publishing company today filed separate applications for leave for judicial review against a government decision to ban Zunar's political cartoon books 1 Funny Malaysia and Perak Darul Kartun...

For full article click here:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Instructor of Catholicism claims loss of job violates academic freedom

URBANA – An adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism at the University of Illinois has lost his teaching job there, and he claims it is a violation of his academic freedom.

Kenneth Howell was told after the spring semester ended that he would no longer be teaching in the UI's Department of Religion. The decision came after a student complained about a discussion of homosexuality in the class in which Howell taught that the Catholic Church believes homosexual acts are morally wrong...

Click here for full article.

Malaysia's press censorship

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The growing power of the Internet probably means government censorship of opposition newspapers is pointless

The recent controversy surrounding the Malaysian government's crackdown on the opposition parties' publications Suara Keadilan and Harakah rekindles the need for some much-deserved attention on the state of press freedom, or the lack of it, in the country.

Under the terms of Malaysia's Printing Presses and Publications Act, it is a criminal offense to possess or use a printing press without a license from the Home Affairs Minister. Possession or use of an unlicensed press subjects the user to imprisonment for up to three years and/or fines up to RM20,000 (US$6,240) plus forfeiture of the deposit for the license...

Click here for full article.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Banned books painting exhibit

Washington, DC artist Dana Ellyn will have a solo exhibition of her recent paintings, "Banned", at the Martin Luther King Library from June 20 through July 31, 2010. The exhibit will coincide with the annual conference of the American Library Association, which is taking place in Washington, DC June 24 through June 30...

Click here for full text, which also includes paintings and video. My apologies for not posting this sooner.

Vietnam: Independent magazine keeps publishing despite harassment

Reporters Without Borders voices its full support for the writers and editors of To Quoc (, an independent fortnightly that has managed to keep appearing in print and online despite a campaign of threats and harassment. One of its founders told Reporters Without Borders the threats were part of a “dangerous plans by the conservatives” before the Communist Party’s next congress...

Click here for full report (published last April).

British author of death penalty book held in Singapore

Singapore police have arrested the British author of a book about the city-state's use of the death penalty.

Alan Shadrake, 75, is being detained on criminal defamation charges which carry a two-year prison sentence...

Click here for full report.

Mumbai congress will block Laine book, Sena style

The Congress is ready to enforce a ban on James Laine’s book on Shivaji, ‘Sena style’. State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre said on Tuesday that his party’s workers would not allow sale or circulation of the book. The Supreme Court had on Friday upheld the Bombay High Court’s verdict quashing the state ban imposed in 2003...

Click here for full text.

Cambodia bans ‘Political’ textbooks

THE Ministry of Information plans to pull two study books from bookshelves across the country after receiving a letter from Education Minister Im Sethy saying that they contain unsuitable “political” content...

Click here for full article.

‘Lamhaa’ Banned In Middle East Before July 16 Release

India, Mumbai, India (AHN) – National Award winning Director Rahul Dholakia’s latest Bollywood action thriller, Lamhaa, is all set for release on July 16 worldwide. However, the Middle East viewers will not be able to watch the movie since the UAE National Media Council Censorship Board banned its screening in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Bahrain and Oman because of its highly objectionable and controversial subject...

Click here for full article.

Michael Savage still banned from UK

He's still on Britain's least-wanted list.

Talk radio host Michael Savage has waged a vigorous fight against the British government, hoping to have his name removed from a list of 16 "undesirables" banned from the country on May 5, 2009, by then British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith...

Click here for full article.

Malaysia bans political cartoons critical of government

Malaysia banned three works of political cartoons that criticize the government, but one of the artists said Friday he was obligated to highlight issues other cartoonists would not.

The government said the cartoons in two books and a magazine posed a security threat.

Malaysia has banned dozens of publications in recent years, but usually because of sexual content or alleged misrepresentation of Islam, its official religion. But the latest ban is certain to spark complaints that the government is disallowing critical views....

Click here for full article.

Singapore censorship

In a space of a month, Singapore authorities caused a major uproar when they banned a film of an ex-political prisoner and arrested a British author who wrote a book about the death penalty in Singapore...

Click here for full article.

India State’s faulty note leads to lifting of ban on Shivaji book

The Maharashtra government’s faulty notification led to the lifting of the ban on American author James W. Laine’s book on Shivaji. A bench headed by Justice D.K Jain, which dismissed the state’s petition against a Bombay High Court verdict lifting the ban on the book Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India, said the notification was “too vague” to withstand legal scrutiny...

Click here for full article.

Publishers sue Va. prisons for banning law guide

Virginia prison officials have unconstitutionally banned inmates from receiving a book that teaches them how to file lawsuits concerning mistreatment or poor prison conditions, the book's publishers claim in a lawsuit filed Wednesday...

Click here for full article.