Associated Press

SYDNEY—China banned an outspoken writer and government critic from leaving the country to attend a literary festival in Australia, and warned him not to publish any of his controversial works overseas, event organizers said Monday.
Associated Press
In this June 6, 2008 file photo, Chinese poet and novelist Liao Yiwu revisits the earthquake damaged Gu Temple in Sichuan province.

Mr. Liao had been scheduled to speak at a festival forum about China's rising power and human-rights record. He was also slated to recite some of his poetry and discuss his work "The Corpse Walker," a series of interviews with people living in the margins of Chinese society.
Mr. Liao's writings, which often focus on China's lower class, are mostly banned in China, but are published in the West.
"Our primary concern is for Liao Yiwu, who has been denied the fundamental right to express his views freely," Mr. Rolley said in a statement. "We are astonished by the Chinese government's additional demand that he not publish his works internationally."
The Sichuan-based author's whereabouts in China weren't immediately known Monday. Calls to police and Communist Party offices in Chengdu, Sichuan province's capital, either rang unanswered Monday or officials said they didn't know about the case.
Mr. Liao first came under government scrutiny after publicly mourning those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. He was sent to prison for four years following popular recordings he made of himself wailing and reading his poem about the deaths, "Massacre."
Michael Heyward, managing director of Text Publishing, publishers of "The Corpse Walker," said he was deeply disappointed in China's decision.


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