Bahrain has denied entry to books published by Hezbollah-linked publishing houses.
The Ministry of Information Affairs inspected consignments belonging to publishing houses taking part in Al-Ayyam Book Fair and discovered a large quantity of books linked to the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group.
In a statement today, the ministry described the banned books as representing a “direct threat” to Bahrain’s security and stability as they advocate sectarianism, hatred and religious extremism.
“The attempt to secure entry to these banned books is a flagrant violation and defiance of Bahrain’s will and sovereignty”, the ministry said, adding that the banned books promote “carry sectarian and ideological poisons” targeting the unity of Bahraini society.
The ministry defended the measure as stemming from its national responsibility to protect Bahraini society from any attempt to disrupt its sovereignty, security and stability.
The ministry said that the freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed for all as it does not encroach on others’ sovereignty and security, stressing that the IAA authorities had allowed entry of thousands of books and streamlined measures for publishing houses to ensure their cultural success in Bahrain.
The Ministry of Information Affairs urged all national parties to assume their role and take their precautions to counter radical and extremist mantra targeting Bahrain’s security and stability and undermine society through publishing houses and publications.
The Gulf Cooperation council states GCC decided on June 10 to impose sanctions on Hezbollah, targeting residency permits and its financial and business activities in reprisal for the group’s armed intervention in Syria.
The council comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Bahrain had already blacklisted Hezbollah “due to its meddling in the country’s internal affairs.”
Ties between the party and Bahrain had witnessed tensions due to the party’s strong support of a popular uprising in the country that began in 2011.