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Kuwait softens censorship particularly on TV programs
June 1, 2015, 12:27 pm
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Officials have affirmed that competent authorities will practice censorship and examination of television products, namely drama series, after broadcasting, and not before being aired, with keenness that the script genuine contents would not be undermined. Loulwa Al-Salem, the Ministry of Information's assistant undersecretary, made the affirmation, late on Sunday, at a seminar organized by the ministry to brief movie and soap producing companies about the Ministerial Resolution No. 18/2015, which regulates permits for producing and broadcasting audio and visual programs, namely drama series.
 
Affirming great impact of TV soaps on the Kuwaiti society, Al-Salem told the attending companies' representatives that the ministry had formed a special committee for managing artistic work. The panel had issued recommendations that ultimately led to the issuance of the abovementioned ministerial decision, she said.
 
Undersecretary Al-Salem explained that the resolution aims at facilitating technical production, particularly in the drama and TV series' fields. Producers would no longer need to apply for a broadcasting permit, and only a production license would be warranted. Among the basic specifications of the new decision, she said, is annulling Provision 14 of the Audio-Visual Law No. 61/2007 that had compelled the producing companies to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Information for all producing stages; shooting, recording, broadcasting and distributing. But, with the new resolution, the producers can proceed with the production, in all its phases, after getting the permit for the script, Al-Salem explained further.
 
The new ministerial resolution also revoked Article 19 of the Audio-Visual Law No. 62/2007, thus "allowing only minor amendment in the script, where the changes should not be genuine or basic; moreover, according to the decision, the censorship on the TV series would be post broadcasting, she added.
 
Khaled Al-Duwaihi Al-Subaiee, an advisor of the Minister of Information and the head of a special team for backing artistic production, said that the special panel had been formed under his chairmanship - with 10 members. The panel which included five members, chosen from the ministry staff and six non-staffers, had functioned for six months.
 
Al-Subaiee affirmed that the censorship, following meetings that grouped the committee members and stakeholders, became post broadcasting.
 
For his part, Secretary of the Arts Association Khaled Al-Enezi said Law No. 18/2015 illustrated some articles "and aspects that were unclear," adding that the second article of the new resolution exempted TV series from obtaining the transmission permit, while compelling the producers to seek an advance go-ahead with respect of production or publicizing audio or visual programs. He indicated that the competent authorities should examine the new regulations within a year. 
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