The shameful case of censorship in the University of Malta, which could see the 21-year old editor of newspaper Realtà being jailed for a maximum of nine months for publishing a short story, ended up featured on BBC Radio 5’s Up All Night show anchored by BBC journalist Rhod Sharp during last night.
The presenter commented that in any other country in the EU, the story published in Realtà would have gone unnoticed, but Malta is a “different place”.
Asked to comment on the situation, Mark Camilleri said: “Lately, censorship has increased and is being used to suppress arts.” He described the controversial fiction story by Alex Vella Gera, as “having artistic merit” and “having a realistic grip”, which portrays a social realism of the Island.
Ironically, the Mr Camilleri was interviewed after a discussion of the Google censorship in China was held.
“What does this tell us about Malta?” the presenter asked the editor, to which he replied that this is part of Malta’s hypocrisy especially when one can find more controversial literature in the University’s library such as Irvine Welsh and Marquis de Sade.
Mr Camilleri said that he was surprised that he ended up “leading a campaign against censorship,” especially when in the past, newspaper Realtà had already published controversial material, such as a graphical scene of Jesus as a priest with a football in his mouth. “We miscalculated the results and we ended up in a movement fighting in censorship in 2009,” Mr Camilleri added.
The young University student and editor of the student newspaper said that a movement is growing against censorship, which is also joined by the Opposition party in Malta. “But the government is not budging,” Mr Camilleri told BBC.
Listen: BBC interview