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Europe

Vietnam Burns Books

More than seven tons of publications considered obscene by the Communist government were destroyed earlier this week

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Halong Bay in Vietnam, where the government bans all material it considers pornographic

In an eerie reminder of Nazi Germany, security forces in communist Vietnam burned more than 7 tons worth of books and other publications earlier this week, local media reported on Thursday.

Government officials said the publications, burned in Ho Chi Minh City, were considered obscene, local media reported on Thursday. Many were came from foreign countries.

"Such events take place many times throughout the year because we don’t have room for all the books we confiscate," said one member of the security force. He said a majority of the books contained what was considered pornographic material.

Vietnam does not allow the use and distribution of books and videos with sexual or very violent content. The government considers them a corrupting Western influence and a threat to society.

The burnings came as a 44-year-old coffee shop owner was sentenced to four years in jail for showing pornographic videos at her shop last summer. The verdict handed down by the Ho Chi Minh City Court said Nguyen Thi Buc only showed tapes with sexual content when there were about 40 customers. A local newspaper reported that police said 35 viedotapes with sexual content.