|Music shops in Kuwait have been closed on the claim of defending morals and Islamic obligations, and a new censorship law threatens freedom of expression in the country, reported Arabic Network for Human Rights Information on 6 February 2008.
An article published by the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan described an on-going controversy in Kuwait between two currents: one defending freedom of expression while the other is seeking tighter censorship and restriction measures.
The freedom opponents who have also ordered closure of music and video shops describe themselves as “the Propagation of Virtue in Kuwait” – along the lines of what was done in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where “freedom of expression” is not even in the vocabulary.
Tough restrictions on freedom of publishing and creativity were imposed on Kuwait’s citizens in 2007, and when news came out that the Kuwaiti government is now intending to present a new website censorship law to the parliament, the executive director of Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Gamal Eid, said:
“Today, there is an intention towards imposing more strict censorship in order to please the extremist currents and to punish those who dare to criticise the Kuwaiti government.”
Recently a former officer in the Kuwaiti Army, Naif, was arrested and will be taken to court for having criticised Kuwait’s head of state, His Highness the Amir, at an Internet site.
Gamal Eid, Executive Director of HRinfo, can be contacted at: Apartment 10, No. 5, Street 105, Midan al Hurriya, al Maadi, Cairo, Egypt, tel/fax: +202 524 9544, e-mail: info (AT) hrinfo.net
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo)
– Press Release and Weekly Update #197, 6 February 2008:
‘Kuwait: A New Law Increasing Censorship And Opinion Repression – Another Attack On The Freedom Of Expression’
Arab Times – 5 March 2008:
‘Man faces music for talking ill of ruler’
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