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Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022

'Banned book list' won't be made public: home affairs

'Banned book list' won't be made public: home affairs

The list of books removed from the shelves of public libraries due to suspected violation of national security law will not be disclosed, as it may be widely circulated among public with “malicious intent,” Acting Secretary for Home Affairs Jack Chan Jick-chi said.
He gave a written response to the question raised by lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun, who asked how many library items has the Leisure and Cultural Services Department reviewed to see if the items comply with the national security law.

She also wanted to know if the government has a list of banned books and materials for libraries in schools or other organizations.

Chan said the department will not publicize any list of library materials removed from library shelves or withdrawn for allegedly breaching the national security law.

Chan explained that disclosing the list, if there is any, “may lead to wide circulation of such library materials with malicious intent by other parties or organizations and is thus unfavorable to safeguarding national security.”

He said it is also the reason why the department doesn't provide a list for other subsidized libraries.

He continued that the Education Bureau has reminded schools to ensure words and objects displayed within the campus including books and leaflets do not contain content that endangers national security.

“To safeguard the well-being of students, schools should ensure the books or publications in the school library meet the cognitive ability and development needs of students in different stages of learning,” Chan said.

The bureau will follow up on any complaints filed seriously and may issue advisory or warning letters to schools when necessary, he added.

Chan on the other hand reminded private libraries that their collections should also comply with the national security law and other legislation.
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