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How Does Lebanese Censorship Stack Up Against Chinese, Iranian and Russian?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, March 12 2014

Kiss: banned (Wikipedia)

Since 2011 the NGO March Lebanon has been curating examples of censorship in Lebanon in a Virtual Museum of Censorship.

Among other things, the Lebanese authorities have taken issue with Elizabeth Taylor (all of her), the Woody Allen film Manhattan, the French newspapers Le Figaro and Le Monde, Jane Fonda, CBS, the music of Kiss, Def Leppard and Nirvana (among many others), Salman Rushie's The Satanic Verses (no surprise there), the Penthouse film Jezebelle and Friends (or there) and The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.

Unlike previous posts we have written about censorship in China, Iran, and Russia, the Virtual Museum of Censorship includes items that have been banned online or off. Censorship practices are so arbitrary, however, that it is possible that the DVD version of something is banned, but theatrical screenings are okay. And while Nirvana albums are banned for “witchcraft,” the “Best of” Nirvana is not.

“The laws of censorship are so vague that it allows the people in charge to censor anything they want,” Lea Baroudi, a founding member and general coordinator of March Lebanon, told Global Post. “And what worries me is that I think it is getting worse.”

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