Home Page > Centres News Item > PEN Hong Kong condemns denial of entry of writers to Macau

PEN Hong Kong is dismayed at the news that the Macao Literary Festival, the biggest international literary event in the city, has been told that three of its authors would not have been assured of entry in the former Portuguese colony. The three writers that have been singled out are Jung Chang, the award-winning author of Wild Swans and a biography of Mao Zedong, both highly critical of the Chinese political system, and two authors who have written perceptive and critical volumes about North Korea, Suki Kim and James Church.

澳門最大型的國際文學盛事—澳門文學節獲告知其中三位作家可能不獲准踏足此葡萄牙前殖民地,香港筆會對此表示不滿。此三位作家包括<<鴻.三代中國女人的故事>>以及毛澤東傳記的作者張戎,其兩本著作均對中國的政治體制進行批判,以及兩位曾撰寫批評北韓的書籍之作家,金淑姬以及James Church。

As the director of the Festival, Mr Hélder Beja told Radio Macau, he had no option but to cancel the planned events with these three writers, as he was made aware, through informal channels, that their presence was deemed problematic and they may not gain entry into the city. We deem this to be a very worrying development, and one that infringes directly on the right to freedom of expression and on literary expression, which should be guaranteed in Macao as everywhere else. To ban authors solely on the base of the political acceptability of their writings, according to fuzzy standards that are not even publicly disclosed, is a very concerning development that cannot be defended.

作為文學節的總監,Hélder Beja告知澳門電台,他是從非官方渠道得知當局認為該三位作家入境可能帶來問題,因此他們可能不會獲准入境。他除卻取消已安排的節目中與三位作家有關的節目外,別無他法。我們認為這非常教人憂慮,並已直接侵害言論自由及文學表達這兩項本應不受地域分界,一概受保障的權利。單單基於這數位作家在文章中透露、根本不曾直接表達的政見,便拒絕讓他們入境,是非常令人關注且無法辯駁的。

While we recognise that immigration authorities have all the discretion to decide whom to allow in, we urge the Macao administration not to use access to their city as a covert tool of political control in determining what kind of books are deemed acceptable. In so doing, they are not only blocking internationally acclaimed authors from visiting Macao, and harming Macao’s reputation as a city known for its cultural and creative industries, but Macao authorities are also limiting the cultural exchanges their citizenry is allowed to enjoy.

作為文學節的總監,Hélder Beja告知澳門電台,他是從非官方渠道得知當局認為該三位作家入境可能帶來問題,因此他們可能不會獲准入境。他除卻取消已安排的節目中與三位作家有關的節目外,別無他法。我們認為這非常教人憂慮,並已直接侵害言論自由及文學表達這兩項本應不受地域分界,一概受保障的權利。單單基於這數位作家在文章中透露、根本不曾直接表達的政見,便拒絕讓他們入境,是非常令人關注且無法辯駁的。

This is a censoring and authoritative move that we find deplorable.