Posted on 08/25/2020 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Kuwait’s extremely strict censorship laws have been adjusted — slightly.

Previously, a Ministry of Information committee approved (or, more often, rejected) the publication of books in the country.

Now, the Kuwaiti parliament has voted to require only that importers provide the name of the book and its author, according to the National.

The importer will be legally responsible if the contents go against Kuwaiti law — but only an official complaint from the public will spur action, and only the courts can ban the book, the National reports.

The reaction to the among the Kuwaiti literary community has been mixed, as the move doesn’t eliminate censorship entirely — it simply, as writer and activist Abdullah al-Khonaini pointed out to the Guardian, shifts the power from one governmental branch to another.

In the past seven years, Kuwait has banned over 4,000 books, according to the Guardian, including The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Reading, The Guardian

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