[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: A plea to the geysers at the OAT

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A plea to the geysers at the OAT

A special message to all the media chums out there:
Here's a message from a friend of a friend who needs our help:

Dear friends,
I don't know if you've heard about Hong Kong's embarrassing episodes of Michelangelo's King David sculpture ruled "obscene" with the need for censorship (the grand, nude statue exhibits a little peepee that would give children...some... idea! gasp!), or the more recent Chinese University student magazine sex survey that got classified "obscene", then of course Ming Pao, the only less obscene local paper reports on the issue with a sample survey and gets sent to the OAT for classification. There's also the person who was fined $5000 for putting hyperlinks to overseas (NOTE: not even within HK's jurisdiction) porno pictures in an adult forum.
This time, my friend Oiwan wrote an?
article?for against the censorship of obscene hyperlinking case, which has now also been catagorised by the Obscene Articles Tribunal at grade II. (Link above; Chinese only) PLEASE! Our city is getting retarded, and far more issues stem from a normal and prevalent topic being repressed in an abnormal way. Who on earth are they even trying to protect from WHAT?!? Oiwan is hoping to collect as many signatures as possible (with title and affiliation details) and hand the statement together with the revision application to the OAT the coming THURSDAY (5th July), which is the deadline for revision appeal.?
Please sign and get your friends to sign. Unfortunately this is only in Chinese, but it's oh so important to support this fight against stupidity, so please get someone to translate for you if you can't read it! If you'd like to co-sign, write to?, or use the comments section:

Don't bitch about the city's stupidity unless you actually do something about it.
Cheerio chums

Here is a translated statement by Inmedia HK:

We express our regret on the Obscene Articles Tribunal's classification of the article "The beginning of censorship politics, urge for hyperlinking erotic sites" posted at as Class II (indecent). This classification has once again proven that the OAT is very mechanical in evaluating speeches, expressions and creative works regarding "sex" and "body" and lacks basic judgment on an article's content, and the differentiation of beauty / ugliness, good / evil. Moreover, in recent year, the government's department and OAT's attitude towards descendent voices such as sexual minority, Chinese university student press and, makes us worry that the departments have been hijacked by some social groups for oppressing sexual minority and descendent voices. Bureaucratic orientation in obscene articles evaluation is more indecent
We believe that the featured article "The beginning of censorship politics, urge for hyperlinking erotic sites" is not indecent. The article is an urge for civil disobedient act to protest against OAT's classification pornography hyperlink as Class III (obscene article). Hyperlinks by nature is a series of code linking up the contents of two internet websites, it is not by itself "content" and shouldn't be regarded as indecent and obscene article. It is very proper for the author to question and protest against the classification by hyperlinking to erotic site.
The photo is also a hyperlink streaming of content. It is a nude picture. Let's put aside the argument on whether the html codes are indecent or not and focus on the photo's lighting, setting, postures, the photo belongs to a body art photo genre. It is an insult to our education to evaluate the photo as indecent by simply looking at the body parts. The case reflects how rigid and bureaucratic the present classification system is.
In the past few years, the classification system has resulted in many international joke, such as the classification of David Statue as indecent in 1995. Last year the local classic movie "Autumn's Tale" received a warning, this year the questionnaire of Chinese University Student Press's questionnaire on sex attitude, and etc. have already enraged people in the creativity, culture, art and academic sector. If this kind of absurd, lack-of-common-sense classification continues, it will result in even bigger public resentment. Reform the obscene articles evaluation system ASAP
Apart from voluntary application for evaluation, the present system mainly follows up complaint. In recent years, some organizations with religion background (most of them are hostile towards sexual minority and diversified expression on sex) have actively organized complaint campaigns. They want to make use of the existing classification system to uphold a mono attitude towards sex in the society.
The Auditing Department has already pointed out in its report last year that, 90% of the present committee member of the OAT is over 40 years old. The tribunal lacks representatives from different sectors, such as racial and sexual minority, youth, lower class, cultural and art sectors, and etc. As a result, the classification has been very rigid and the system has been hijacked by some groups. If we don't reform the system, it will only be a governmental harassment to its citizen. It will eventually turns this multicultural international city into a mono-color ghost city. We demand that:
1. The government withdraws the classification of "The beginning of censorship politics, urge for hyperlinking erotic sites" (Case No: OAGO000147/2007) and the classification of the Chinese University Student Press erotic page (as well as the report of the case in Sunday Mingpao).
2. Set up a committee that can reflect multi-cultural, age, racial and sexual orientation differences to reform the classification system by abolishing the mechanical evaluation and bringing back in the articles' content, genre, nature, and etc.
This statement would be handed, together with the classification revision, to the Obscene Articles Tribunal on the coming Thursday (July 5). For those who would like to co-sign the statement, please send your name, title / affiliated organizations / websites, and comments / advice to the government to inmediahk AT Please help forwarding the statement as well.
This statement campaign is initiated by
Hong Kong In-Media
Hong Kong Federation of University Students