Saudi book fair kicks off amid ban on 'Brotherhood books'

تم نشره في Thu 6 March / Mar 2014. 07:57 PM
RIYADH – The annual Riyadh book fair has kicked off with authorities this year imposing a ban on any books about the Muslim Brotherhood group, which the Saudi government strongly opposes.

Saudi Culture Minister Abdulaziz Khoja inaugurated the book fair in a ceremony Tuesday evening, where he praised the annual event, which boasts over 600,000 books from 31 countries, for the "profound, enriching discussions" it provides.

Ahead of the inauguration, the head of the Saudi Publishers Union, Ahmed al-Hamdan, had announced that any books "relating to the Muslim Brotherhood group, it's ideas or thinkers" would be banned from the fair, citing security reasons.

Last year, the oil-rich gulf state was among the first to support the military ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the decades-old Islamist group.

Since then, it had provided the country's military-backed interim authorities with several billions of dollars in aid. (AA)