Tilting at the Customs Administration over Confiscated Books

Danwei introduces and translates an article from Southern Weekly about a professor suing the Guangzhou Office over the seizure of books he was bringing back from Hong Kong:

Most of the books that Feng Chongyi had confiscated by the Tianhe Terminal Office were written by mainland authors and did not violate national laws or regulations. But the heart of his complaint is more general: there is no publicly-available index of banned books, and no clear public standard of what constitutes illicit printed material. Feng argues that this violates Chinese law.

Feng’s lawsuit mirrors an earlier attempt by the Fujian-based author Chen Xiwo to retrieve twelve copies of the Taiwan edition of his novella collection Book of Offenses from Fuzhou customs officials. Southern Weekly summarizes his case, in which the appeals court found that his book “disseminated pornography” and deserved to be confiscated.

The article also digs up an interesting older case in which Zhu Yuantao, a Beijing-based lawyer who won a fleeting victory over the Beijing Airport Customs Office.

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