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Liao Yiwu prevented from attending Cologne book festival

3rd March 2010

Outspoken Chinese writer Liao Yiwu has been banned from attending one of Europe's largest literary events, making it the 13th time he has been prevented from leaving his home country.

The Corpse Walker author told the Associated Press that he has been placed under house arrest by the Chinese government, after he was interrogated for four hours by state security agents about why he wished to speak at the Cologne International Literary Festival.

He explained that he was taken by the police from a plane in the south-western city of Chengdu but they gave no legal basis for his detention. The author added: 'How can this happen? It's a cultural event, nothing political. Such drama!'

Liao also told the news provider that he sent some writing and music to the festival ahead of his attempted departure, in anticipation of his being barred from leaving China.

In September last year, the writer told Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the Chinese government would not allow him to leave the country to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair, where he was invited to participate in a podium discussion.

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