The Internet In the Arab World
A New Space of Repression?
No Rules, No Limits
United Arab Emirates:
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes
Egypt Races Kuwait In Banning TV Shows
Criticizing Ministers And Officials Now In The Red Zone
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information , ANHRI, condemned the Kuwaiti ministry of information decision to ban the TV show " Soatak Wasal" (Your Voice is Heard), a comic show that criticizes Kuwaiti officials and MPs after airing 3 episodes. Following the same steps , the Egyptian minister of Information ,Anas AlFiqqy, decided to ban a similar show " Hokuma Show" (Cabinet Show) , a comic show that criticizes Egyptian government officials among which was Ahmed Nazeef, the Egyptian PM. The episode of Nazeef was the reason behind banning the whole show.
The Kuwaiti ministry of information has decided to ban the TV production " Soatak Wasal" (Your Voice is Heard) aired by "Scope" channel after threatening to pursue any show that is offensive to Kuwaiti state officials without specifying what "offensive" means in this context. On 25/8/2009, the Undersecretary of the ministry of information , Sheikh Faisal AlMalek, carried out the threat and banned the show, claiming it violates the Kuwaiti law for audio/visual transmission # 61/2007.
In Cairo, and as a result of criticizing Egyptian PM Ahemd Nazeef in one of the episodes of "Hokuma Show" (Cabinet Show) , the minister of information decided to ban the whole program in courtesy of the PM, in a blatant violation of freedom of expression and an unjust abuse of power.
ANHRI stated that " appending the ministers and state officials to the restricted list and stretching the red line to include them renders freedom of expression void of any value.
Banning of these programs and others to come, clearly discloses the stance of these ministries having become an oppression tool rather than being an endorser and a promoter of freedom of the media.
ANHRI requests of both governments to reconsider their decisions and allow both transmissions back in support of freedom of expression especially that the banned material is currently broadcasted on the internet.