Communist Nobel prize winner defends censors

Mo Yan: Likened censorship to airport security checks
Mo Yan: Likened censorship to airport security checks
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THIS year’s Nobel prize for literature winner, already under fire for his close relationship with China’s Communist party, has defended censorship as being as necessary as airport security.

Mo Yan made his comments in Stockholm and stoked further criticism of the Nobel jury for its decision to lionise him. Herta Mueller, the 2009 winner, said the choice of Mr Mo was a “catastrophe” for the Nobel jury.

In his comments yesterday, made through a translator, he said rumour and defamatory statements should be censored and added: “But I also hope that censorship per se should have the highest principle.”

Mr Mo, a Communist party member and vice president of China’s official writers association, spoke in Stockholm, where he is spending several days before receiving his prize on Monday. He likened censorship to the thorough security procedures on his trip to Stockholm.

“When I was taking my flight, going through the customs …they also wanted to check me - even taking off my belt and shoes,” he said. “But I think these checks are necessary.”