Sudan/Algeria: authorities ban novels at book fairs
Algeria: Authorities bans 100 books at international book fair 2015
The Algerian Censorship Authority was assigned to review books participating in the Algerian International Book Fair 2015 (29 October to 7 November 2015) and banned more than 100 books. The Censorship Authority stated that the books promote ideas which are “contradicting Algerian Government policy” in regard to topics such as terrorism, jihadism, the Arab Spring or in regard to the Palestinian situation. Some of the books contained what the Authority called “strange thoughts” which were “alien to the Algerian society.”
Some of the books were Jordanian, Egyptian and French. The Authority stated that it will only allow books to be published that are “useful” for the Algerian readers.
Sudan: Authorities ban six novels at Khartoum International Book Fair
The Sudanese government is attacking the culture and art organisations working in the country, reported Africa Review. Khartoum is witnessing sequestration of publications, closing of cultural centers and cancellions of art events, all of which are violating the artists’ freedom of expression.
For instance, recently the government shut down the media cultural centre and Mafroush book exhibition with no expressed reasons.
The Arab Coalition for Sudan and the Arab Media Network have expressed their concern due to the arbitrary procedures taken by the Authority of Artistic Works and Literature in Sudan as it sequestrated six publications produced by the Egyptian publisher Dar Awraq (Awrag Masriya) for publishing and distribution on 21 October 2015. They Authority also banned the books from being promoted in the Khartoum International Book Fair which runs from 17 to 29 October 2015.
The Authority furthermore referred four other publications for auditing and reviewing to decide if they should be promoted in the country.
The Authority sequestrated these six novels:
• ‘Sira Kazera’ (‘Dirty biography’) by Mohamed Kheir Abdullah
• ‘Sae’e Al Riyal Al Makdod’ (‘The courier of the slit Riyal’) by Mubarak Ardol
• ‘Asfa Ka’a Al Medina’ (‘Down the bottom of the city’) by Ihab Adlan
• ‘Bostan Al Khouf’ (‘The fear garden’) by Asmaa Othman Al Sheikh
• ‘Hal Akhtaa al Salaf’ (‘Did the ancestors get it wrong?’)
• ‘Souk Al Dea’ara al Mosanaa’ (‘The market of the prostitution mill’) by Mohamed Badawi Moustafa
Many non-governmental organisations (NGOs) criticised these censorship practices which have been imposed at every book fair in Khartoum, saying they were based on illogical excuses including that the novels allegedly contained improper or immoral topics.
The NGOs were claiming that the systematic process of hiding or banning publications in an attempt to disencourage awareness, culture and education does no longer make any sense. The Sudanese citizens are experiencing an unprecedented information revolution which facilitates digital information transfers via the Internet, in particular through social media.
» Africa Review – 30 October 2015:
Authorities confiscate books at Khartoum book fair