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.
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 ex-wife’s children.
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.
By A Saleh