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China jails gay sex author for 10 years, sparks outrage

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china lgbt gay
A
participant takes part in a Pride Run in Shanghai in June 2017.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in China.

REUTERS/Aly Song

  • A Chinese court sentenced an author to ten years in
    jail for publishing a book that “obscenely and in detail”
    described gay sex, state media reported.
  • Pornography is illegal in China, as is same-sex
    marriage.
  • Many people have argued that the sentence was too
    harsh. Some people accused of sexual assault have received
    shorter sentences in the past.
  • China has been cracking down on what it considered
    inappropriate content, such as pornography and even people
    having tattoos.

A Chinese court sparked outrage after sentencing an author to ten
years in prison after she published a book that detailed gay sex.

The author, surnamed Liu, was found guilty by a court in Wuhu,
eastern China, after self-publishing a book last year that
“obscenely and in detail described gay male-on-male acts,” the
state-run Wuhu Broadcasting Channel news reported.

Pornography is illegal in China, as is same-sex marriage.

The novel, titled “Occupation,” includes “violence, abuse, and
insults related to sexual perversion,” state media reported,
adding that the contents were “unsightly.”


Xi Jinping
The
Chinese Communist Party has cracked down on what it considers
inappropriate content under Xi Jinping’s rule.

Reuters/Jason Lee

Wuhu county court called for the ten-year sentence because Liu —
who writes under the pen name Tian Yi — made 150,000 yuan
($21,600) by selling more than 7,000 copies, the state-run Global
Times tabloid reported.
The outlet referred to the money earned from the book as “illegal
profits.”

The judge likely thought that the book “has a baneful impact on
the society,” the Global Times reported, citing lawyer Lü
Xiaoquan.

Police were alerted to the book after it went viral online
shortly after its publication in 2017.

Liu has appealed her sentence, the Global Times reported.

Many people have since leaped to Liu’s defense, saying that the
sentence was too harsh.

One unnamed person said on popular microblogging site Weibo that
she was sexually assaulted and injured in Beijing this May, but
the perpetrator was sentenced to eight months in prison, the
Global Times reported.

Others noted that an official in Yunnan province, southwestern
China, was sentenced to eight years in prison for abducting and
raping a four-year-old girl, the BBC and
South China Morning Post
reported.

In 2013, the son of two famous singers was sentenced
to ten years in jail
after he and four other people were
accused of raping a woman at a Beijing hotel. Ten years is the
maximum sentence for rape under
Chinese law
.


Read more:

Planting spies, paying people to post on social media, and
pretending the news doesn’t exist: This is how China tries to
distract people from human rights abuses


xi jinping books
Books
about Chinese President Xi Jinping on sale at a bookstore in
Beijing in March 2018. These aren’t banned.

Jason Lee/Reuters

China’s crackdown on content

The Chinese Communist Party has recently intensified its
crackdown on what it considered inappropriate content, such as
pornography.

Popular social media platform Sina Weibo censored LGBT content
alongside pornography earlier this year, likely to honor a
government initiative, but
reversed the decision
after China’s gay community who said
the company had smeared homosexuality.

Earlier this year Beijing also
called on video-streaming sites to censor content
that
included tattoos, gambling, drinking, smoking, “flirtatious”
dancing, and even scenes that use “a bed or sofa as a prop or
background.”

In May, Douyin, one of China’s largest video-sharing apps, also
banned content about Peppa Pig from its platform because the
cartoon pig had become an icon of Chinese “slackers,” which runs
against Communist Party ideals.

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