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No specific plan from the authors of “Red Lines” on the content: MCI

Red lines: political cartoons and the fight against censorship by Cherian George and Sonny Liew. (PHOTO: Red Lines website)

SINGAPORE – The Singapore authorities have not received any confirmation of “specific plans” to deal with the offensive content of “Red lines: political cartoons and the fight against censorship,” the press secretary to the Minister of Communications and Censorship said on Thursday. Information, Joséphine Teo (January 13).

In a press release, Dawn Tay said the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) had not received this confirmation from either distributor Alkem or authors Cherian George and Sonny Liew, more than two months after the ban on ” Red Lines “in Singapore.

The book was launched in the United States on August 31. Professor George is an academic in the School of Communication and Film, Hong Kong Baptist University, while Liew is an award-winning cartoonist. IMDA later said it had banned distribution of the book in Singapore on November 1, 2021.

The press secretary also reiterated Teo’s remarks to Parliament on Wednesday January 12: “If and when they do, they can contact IMDA to assess the suitability of a revised version of ‘Red Lines’ for distribution. in Singapore. “

Reply to Cherian George

Tay was answering Professor George blog post, Wednesday, who said he and Liew had already decided last year, before Alkem contacted IMDA, that “we should do some redaction for copies destined for stores in Singapore out of compliance with local standards.”

He added: “We were awaiting contributions from IMDA before proceeding with the changes, but the government has banned the book instead. We intend to make the changes we had in mind before the ban.”

Alkem contacted IMDA in August 2021 for consultations ahead of a planned book release in Singapore. Last November, the authors noted that IMDA was grateful for the cooperation and appreciated the academic purpose of the book. “IMDA acknowledged that the book republished examples of controversial cartoons to inform the ongoing debates and not to offend,” Professor George said at the time.

When asked Yahoo News Singapore To comment on Tay’s remarks, the authors said they had nothing to add to Professor George’s blog post.

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“Red Lines” is a tribute to political cartoons and includes interviews with cartoonists from around the world who have been variously harassed, prosecuted, imprisoned and attacked for their work.

Last November, IMDA said “Red Lines” was deemed objectionable under the Unwanted Publications Act (UPA) because it contains “offensive images that denigrate religions, including reproductions of Charlie Hebdo cartoons. of the Prophet Muhammad which led to demonstrations and violence abroad ”.

IMDA added that the book also contains other disparaging references regarding Hinduism and Christianity. IMDA, in consultation with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the Ministry of the Interior, identified 29 objectionable images under the UPA and engaged Alkem in this regard.

Teo told the House on Tuesday that the book’s release was blocked in Singapore because it contains “multiple objectionable images,” which are racially and religiously offensive, not its political content.

When asked to confirm Professor George’s remarks about the authors’ openness to editorship of the book and whether IMDA had communicated directly with them about the process of submitting a revised version of the previously banned book, a door – speech of MCI referred Yahoo News Singapore to Tay’s statement, as well as Teo’s parliamentary remarks.

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