Kuwait's book censors have been very busy of late banning 4,390 books since 2014, hundreds of them this year.
Recent targets include an encyclopedia with a picture of Michelangelo's David and a Disney version of The Little Mermaid . David had no fig leaf, and the mermaid, alas, wore half a bikini.
Shamayel al-Sharikh, a Kuwaiti women's activist explained that the powers that be thought her dress was promiscuous.
Sometimes the 12-member censors committee (six Arabic readers, six English readers) that rules on books for the Ministry of Information gives a reason: The anthology Why We Write was banned because its editor, Meredith Maran, had falsely
accused her father of molestation.
In other cases, the justification is obscure, such as with The Art of Reading , by Damon Young. Maya Angelou's memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , is forbidden in Kuwait.
One Hundred Years of Solitude , by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, is banned because of a scene in which a wife sees her husband naked, as is Children of Gebelawi , by Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz, the first
Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel in literature.
Musician and 2010 Freemuse Award winner Ferhat Tunç has been sentenced in Turkey to one year, 11 months and 12 days in prison for making propaganda of a terrorist organization. The charge relates to messages shared on Tunç's social
media in December 2016, with the terrorist organization referring to the Kurdistan Workers Party and Kurdistan Peoples Community. Tunç plans to appeal the verdict at the Court of Appeal in the next week.
Alongside this case, Tunç faces two additional trials on the charges of publicly inciting hatred and hostility f or tweets shared on 16 April 2017, including '#WeAreNotSilent'; and insulting the President through messages shared on
his social media in 2016.
Freemuse calls for a transparent, fair and impartial appeals process and for the Turkish government to drop all charges against Tunç. Freemuse Executive Director Dr Srirak Plipat said:
The sentencing of Ferhat Tunç to prison is a human rights scandal in Turkey. When a musician who sings peacefully is imprisoned for promoting terrorism, the world knows that Turkey is stepping up its efforts to silence artists and art
communities. The imprisonment of Tunç is the imprisonment of artistic freedom in Turkey.
A by-law which will allow for Turkey's state-run TV censor to extend its remit to all internet broadcasting platforms has been approved.
The Turkish state agency for monitoring, regulating, and sanctioning radio and television broadcasts (RTÜK) met on Tuesday to discuss the bylaw regarding radio and TV programs aired online. The bylaw, which will also require that TV stations
obtain a licence from RTÜK to begin broadcasting online.
Under the leadership of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), RTÜK took a strict approach with TV stations, slapping channels with large fines for what they say is ''offending societal values.'' Consequently, many Turkish television
producers have opted to share their work online, but now face the same repressive censorship rules that they previously managed to avoid.