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Algeria introduces censorship of imported books

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal has signed an executive order placing government censorship on imported books, especially those concerning the country's liberation revolution (1954-1962) against French colonialism, Anadolu news agency has reported.

According to the decree, which was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday, book importers should submit a list of books – both printed and electronic publications – to the ministry of culture for approval before they can be distributed. The law applies to books printed abroad and destined for sale, public reading or donation in Algeria. Two copies of each book must be submitted to the ministry prior to distribution; officials will then decide whether to allow them to be in Algeria or ban them.

Books dealing with Algerian history, especially those imported from France, often cause a lot of controversy.

The decree comes a few days after the issue of another executive order placing conditions on the import of religious books and imprints of the Qur'an, which require importers to obtain prior permission from the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

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