Saudi bans books at fair in wide-ranging crackdown

A Saudi man looks at a publication during the annual International Book Exhibition in the capital Riyadh on March 4, 2014. Saudi authorities have banned hundreds of books, including works by renowned Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish, as part of a crackdown on publications. AFP/PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • The local Okaz daily reported Sunday that organisers at the Riyadh International Book Fair had confiscated "more than 10,000 copies of 420 books" during the exhibition.
  • Organisers of the book fair, which began March 4, had announced ahead of the event that any book deemed "against Islam" or "undermining security" in the kingdom would be confiscated.
  • Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women, forced to cover in public from head to toe, are not allowed to drive. Other banned books include "The History of Hijab" and "Feminism in Islam."

RIYADH,

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