4,390 books banned in five years

Kuwait Times - - Local - By A Saleh

KUWAIT: The in­for­ma­tion min­istry has banned 4,390 books over the past five years, Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion and Min­is­ter of State for Youth Af­fairs Mo­ham­mad Al-Jabri has con­firmed. Re­spond­ing to an in­quiry by MP Khaled Al-Shatti, Jabri said that the min­istry’s griev­ances com­mit­tee - formed ac­cord­ing to min­is­te­rial res­o­lu­tion num­ber 13/2017 - had looked into com­plaints against two books and agreed to re­con­sider ban­ning them. He added that the banned list was 70 pages long, in­clud­ing re­li­gious, cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal books.

No­tably, Shatti had in­quired about the long list of banned books, not­ing that he had 16 car­tons full of the banned books’ ti­tles. He said af­ter re­view­ing some of the banned books, he emerged with a feel­ing that “we are liv­ing a real free­dom of thought dilemma”, warn­ing that cen­sor­ship is killing ideas and cre­ativ­ity. “It is as if we are liv­ing in the me­dieval ages,” he added, not­ing that some of the jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for bans were fee­ble.

Kuwaiti em­ploy­ees

The ad­min­is­tra­tive court yes­ter­day ad­journed hear­ing a case filed by lawyer Areej Ha­mada against the min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion and the aca­demic ac­cred­i­ta­tion board un­til March 21, 2019. In her ar­gu­ment, Ha­mada won­dered why min­istries’ le­gal af­fairs depart­ments have no Kuwaiti em­ploy­ees while the lo­cal mar­ket is full of them, and de­spite the fact that Kuwait has two law schools. “The min­is­ter of so­cial af­fairs has been recruiting ex­pats with the ex­cuse that she has no trust in na­tional la­bor - if cit­i­zens’ ed­u­ca­tion is so bad, who is re­spon­si­ble for this?” she de­manded, blam­ing the gov­ern­ment for this al­leged de­te­ri­o­ra­tion and urg­ing the gov­ern­ment to in­ter­view Kuwaiti lawyers to de­cide whether they are fit to work or not. In a sep­a­rate case, the court of ap­peals yes­ter­day sen­tenced a Saudi royal to seven years in prison and a KD 10,000 fine over charges of kid­nap­ping his Kuwaiti exwife’s chil­dren.

Medicine sup­plies Health Min­is­ter Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah said the Pub­lic Au­thor­ity for Food and Nu­tri­tion is cur­rently as­sess­ing the sit­u­a­tion con­cern­ing food re­serves. He added that the Min­istry of Health’s (MoH) cen­tral emer­gen­cies com­mit­tee pe­ri­od­i­cally up­dates its emer­gency plan con­cern­ing the avail­abil­ity of strate­gic medicine and MoH sup­plies, in ad­di­tion to evac­u­a­tion drills. “Yes, MoH has enough medicine sup­plies to deal with any pos­si­ble dan­gers,” he un­der­lined, deny­ing the min­istry’s in­ten­tion to build pri­vate sec­tor medicine fac­to­ries.

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