The Associated Press reports, "Mo said he doesn't feel that censorship should stand in the way of truth but that any defamation, or rumors, 'should be censored.' " The Nobel laureate then compared censorship to airport security checks.
Here in America, the censorship that exists takes relatively benign forms: Alan Moore's graphic novel being banned from a single library system is upsetting, but an enterprising reader could find another way to get her hands on it. In China, censorship can be a grave matter. For example, a writer of a manifesto calling for democratic reforms might be thrown into prison.
That's exactly what has happened to Mo's fellow countryman Liu Xiaobo. Liu, an author of Charter 08, is a
The choice of Mo for the literature prize met with approval from Chinese state television but criticism from outspoken opponents. "For him to win this award, it's not a victory for literature; it is a victory for the Communist Party," Yu Jui, a writer and democracy activist, wrote in a blog post after the announcement.
But with his latest statements about censorship, Mo seems to be tipping in an unfortunate direction: 134 Nobel Laureates signed a petition this week calling for the release of Liu and his wife, citing their detention as a violation of international law. Mo has not signed the petition.