Government limits freedom of expression
In the United States, news that people want buried comes out on Saturday night, when people are busy with other things and not paying a lot of attention. Does that happen in Kuwait?
I watched for anyone blogging on this yesterday, but saw nothing. I showed the newspaper to my Kuwaiti friends, who were shocked, and hadn’t heard anything about this. Some of it, I get. I am flummoxed by the forbidding of any mention of veterinary medicine!
From yesterday’s Kuwait Times.
KUWAIT: All newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and printing presses in Kuwait were yesterday issued a list by the government of the types of articles, advertisements and banners that can no longer be printed or published without official approval. Following is the list of the banned topics and the ministry concerned:
1. Publication or display of slogans that glorify some countries against others.
2. Displaying pictures that glorify some political personalities or religious figures of countries where political or religious conflicts exist.
3. Publications or displaying slogans that glorify or support some political or religious parties outside Kuwait.
4. Publication of personal interviews with citizens who support or oppose a certain policy which may place the state at war with other countries.
5. Publication or displaying slogans that glorify or support some religious or political parties in Kuwait.
6. Announcement of seminars that may probe tribal or sectarian conflicts.
7. Sale of books on sorcery and magic.
8. Spiritual healing (without a licence).
9. Sorcery and ability to heal.
10. Massage without a licence (because those activities are subject to Law No. 15/1960 dealing with commercial companies).
11. Sale and trade of weapons by commercial companies, individual establishments and individuals (swords, sabers, daggers, spears, knives, arrows and arrowheads, pointy rods, spiked clubs, knives, brass knuckles, electric sticks), because licenses from the Interior Ministry to import these.
12. Sale of airguns without a licence from the Interior Ministry.
13. Fireworks and explosives.
14. Sale of surveillance cameras and listening devices (bugs) of all types without obtaining a licence from the concerned authority.
1. Publication of ads for private tuitions.
2. Publication of supplementary school notes.
3. Ads of private institutes and universities that are not accredited by the Ministry of Education.
Ministry of Health:
1. Conventional and veterinary medicine.
2. Botanic, animal or chemical formulae.
3. Foods that have health-enhancing effect, claimed to be prepared for treatment.
4. Preparations that claim to provide energy or reduce or increase weight.
5. Change of structures of body parts. (It is a must that a license be obtained from the licenses committee on advertisements related to health and nutrition).
Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor:
1. Donation and blood money ads.
2. Charity homes’ advertisements.
3. Ads for lectures, cultural and religious gatherings (unless a permission is obtained from the ministry).
The order was signed by Fahd Sayyah Al-Ajmi, Director of Local Press Affairs at the Ministry of Information.