Bedoon poet’s book banned in Kuwait

Stateless Arab, known as bidoon, take part in a protest to demand citizenship and other basic rights in Jahra, 50 kms (31 miles) northwest of Kuwait City, on November 9, 2013. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT

In an interview with Ahmed Al-Rislany on Al-Youm TV, the stateless poet talked about the ban of his new book “Here is a Bedoon” (Hona Bedoon) by the ministry of communication. The ministry gave no response or justification as to what has violated its rules in the poet’s new book. The poet said he has given a copy of the book to the ministry prior to its publication and they said they would not mind permitting it but did not sign anything to grant him their decision.

In that regard, the cairo-based Arabic network for Human Rights published the following statement denouncing the ban over Al-Rislany’s book:

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the decision of the Minister of Information of rejecting to allow a new collection of poems to the stateless poet “Ahmed El-Raslani” for flimsy reasons that shows the Ministry of Information flopped policy.

The Stateless poet “El-Raslani” had announced at the evening of Monday May 20 in the program of Misan on the Satellite channel of “El-Youm” that the Ministry of Information had reject to allow his collection of poem which is titled “here is stateless”, which addresses the suffer of the stateless on the Kuwaiti territories for flimsy reasons according to the poet and he added that one of the Ministry of Information’s employees told him that the word “stateless” is the reason of rejection.

The poet had submitted a printed copy of his new collection of poem to the Ministry in order to allow it and began disseminating it in the markets but he was surprised by the Ministry’s and the committee’s, formed from it, decision of rejecting the collection of poem, despite that the Ministry had reviewed some of the poems in it and they said there is no reason to prevent it. He allowed him to prepare for dissemination but without signing the authorization from the responsible manager who was in a vacation at this time. The committee, which was formed after printing the collection of poems, justified that giving him the authorization was a mistake from the employee not from the committee.

ANHRI said: “the decision issued by the Ministry of Information to reject authorizing the collection of the poems “here is stateless”, is a serious violation on the freedom of expression and the word. It is also a continuation of the series of violations committed by the Ministry of Information against the writers, opinion-makers and media-professionals; the recent violation was suspending a talk show program without obtaining a judicial order.

ANHRI added that the authorities once they adopt a procedure to improve the freedoms file in it but quickly it commits another violation and abuses that take this file a step back.

ANHRI asserted on the necessity that the authorities must know that the stateless are a category on the Kuwaiti territories and must deal with their problems and necessities in more serious way instead of continuing marginalizing and derogating their legitimate rights.

ANHRI demands the immediate rescind of the Ministry of Information regarding rejecting to allow the collection of poems to the stateless poet “El-Raslani” and allow disseminating it.

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