A Chinese court has slammed a 10-year jail term on an author who published an erotic novel featuring gay sex scenes.
According to Independent UK, the female writer, using the alias Tianyi, published the novel Occupy in 2017 and sold it on China’s popular online platform Taobao.
But novel – which reportedly features gay sex scenes between a male teacher and male school pupil – contravened the country’s strict pornography laws.
Tianyi was sentenced to 10 years and six months for producing and selling obscene material by a court in Anhui province.
State media identified Tianyi’s real surname as Liu.
The novel describes “obscene sexual behaviour between males” and was full of “perverted acts like violation and abuse”, said the state-backed newspaper the Global Times.
But the length of the writer’s prison sentence provoked outrage among legal advocates and users of China’s popular media platform Weibo.
“The author deserves sympathy. She did violate criminal law, but even a one-year sentence is too much, not to mention 10 years,” said sociologist Li Yinhe.
Deng Xueping, a Shanghai-based lawyer at Capital Equity Legal Group, said the punishment had been too harsh and judicial interpretation of pornography laws needed to be revised.
“It’s out of touch with all the changes that have taken place in society,” he said. “The social harm of pornographic books might not be as grave as the legislators had thought initially. Nowadays, pornography is ubiquitous.”
According to Australia’s ABC News, four other Chinese citizens involved in the publication of Occupy received prison sentences between 10 months and 10 years and six months.