Helen Davidson writes in The Guardian that books about the Tiananmen Square massacre, Hong Kong protest movements, and other politically sensitive subjects have been removed from all public libraries in Hong Kong.
The imposition of the National Security Law in 2020 has resulted in growing censorship in Hong Kong. The government is reported to have conducted a review of books in Hong Kong libraries. Local media reported, “The review appeared to have stripped from public shelves hundreds of books about the massacre of student protesters on 4 June 1989.”
“Ming Pao reported that about 40% of politically themed books, magazines and videos available at the end of 2020 were gone, 96 of them removed this year.”
The Hong Kong chief executive, John Lee, defended the government’s move and said books were still available for purchase at private bookshops. However, many Hong Kongers have said that many bookstores have removed sensitive books as store owners are afraid of violating the National Security Law.
China Digital Times has posted a partial list of authors who have been purged and a tweet from Louisa Lim, a journalist in China and Hong Kong for 13 years and now a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She tweeted that her book The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited “has been disappeared from HK public libraries.” Louisa Lim details how Hong Kong’s Memory is Being Erased in a New York Times opinion piece in April 2023.
Hong Kong Government Purges Politically Sensitive Books From Libraries