Ever since the invention of printing, books have been banned, blacklisted, boycotted, burned and bowdlerized. Books can be dangerous, but the right to produce and distribute a book is essential to freedom of expression. In this feature from Radio Netherlands human rights programme The State We’re In, we examine some of the conditions in which books are banned, and ask whether we have the right to read everything that’s out there: for example, two books from Germany: a novel about a woman written by her ex-boyfriend who is out to get her, or Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”? We also here about independent libraries in Cuba and from Iranian writer Shahrnush Parsipur.
Produced 17 May 2008 for TSWI, The State We’re In, our weekly Programme on human rights