IF you want to publish your book in Kuwait, you must first consider the laws that determine whether it is possible to publish your book or not. Under the supervision of the Ministry of Information, all books must go through the censorship process to verify if the content is acceptable or not. If the content is acceptable, then your book will be approved for publication. It is very important for authors to know the laws which regulate this process.
The third section of law number 3 for the year 2006 on press and publication stipulates topics which should not be published in print or newspapers, as well as the penalties. These topics include meddling, defamation, slandering or mocking God, the Holy Quran, Prophets and the noble companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) or his wives (PBUT).
The law also protects HH the Amir from any criticism or challenge, prohibits the publication of anything that disdains the Constitution of Kuwait, jurists or members of the Public Prosecution or anything which is considered disparagement of the integrity and impartiality of the judicial system or anything the courts or investigation bodies have decided to keep confidential.
In addition, the law prohibits insulting public morals, and the most important is to respect public system and literature. Although the law clearly states rules that people should follow, authors may find it hard to understand what the phrase, ‘public system and literature,’ refers to. The terms ‘public system’ and ‘literature’ may or may not cover a number of acts, because the law does not mention specific action and referred to it as violation of public system and literature.
The terms were just inserted in the law and were kept floating above numerous types of acts that later became mysterious to the author. What is right and what is not?
By Atyab Alshatti, Esq