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Chinese author detained for criticising premier

6th July 2010

A Chinese author has been threatened with imprisonment if he pushes ahead with plans to publish a book which is highly critical of the country's incumbent premier Wen Jiabao.

Yu Jie claims he was questioned for several hours by police officers and state security personnel over the new book.

Speaking to the Associated Press after his interrogation, Yu said: 'The state security people said Wen Jiabao isn't a normal citizen, he's the premier, so criticising him hurts the nation's interests and security.'

'[They said] I could be given a heavy sentence like Liu Xiaobo,' he added.

Liu, another author critical of the Communist Party of China, is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting subversion of state power.

Yu's new book is due to be published in Hong Kong later this year and the author claims he is willing to 'bear all of the consequences'.

China has a long-held policy of media suppression and is currently in a spat with Google over the company's licence to operate in the country after the internet giant redirected Chinese web traffic to its Hong Kong landing page, where users have fewer restrictions on what they can access.

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