The German Foreign Office has warned travellers to Turkey that they could face legal repercussions if they are caught using a VPN in the country.
It is the first time that a formal warning has been made about using VPNs in the country, but it comes from the highest level and is one that travellers from all countries should be aware of.
Under the dictatorial leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's slide towards authoritarianism has been remarkably swift. In the government's drive to control the internet and restrict its political opponents, Turkey has sought to block VPNs
, banned the use of encrypted messaging services , and routinely blocked social media sites and instigated total internet shutdowns at politically sensitive times. Hundreds of thousands of websites are now inaccessible in Turkey, which has ironically
driven more and more Turkish citizens and ex-pats onto VPNs in order to enjoy free access to the internet.
Turkey has ruled that the million-selling book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls will be age restricted and treated like pornography because it could have a detrimental influence on young people.
The book, which has been published in 47 languages, offers a series of inspiring stories about women from history for young children, from British nurse Florence Nightingale to French designer Coco Chanel to singer Beyonce.
But the Turkish government's censorship board for the protection of minors from obscene publications claimed:
Some of the writings in the book will have a detrimental influence on the minds of those under the age of 18. That means it can only be sold to over-18s and must be concealed from view in shops.
Speaking to AFP, one of the authors, Francesca Cavallo, said she was saddened by the decision. She sad:
Girls deserve to grow up surrounded by more female role models. They deserve to grow up thinking that they can be anything they want
When a government is scared by a children's book promoting equality, that means that promoting these messages through children's literature can have and is having an impact, and it makes me even more motivated to keep fighting every day.
A major Lebanese music festival has cancelled a concert by the country's best-known rock band, Mashrou' Leila , to prevent bloodshed after church leaders accused the group of blasphemy.
The Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Byblos claimed last week that Mashrou' Leila's songs violate religious values and demanded the gig be pulled. Facebook users had threatened to stop the show by force, with some claiming to be God's Soldiers.
Lawmakers in Byblos urged the festival's organisers to pull the concert to respect sanctities and morals.
The Byblos festival duly cancelled explaining that it was forced to cancel the group's performance next week on security grounds. Christians had threatened to attack the concert if it went ahead.
Mashrou' Leila's lead singer is openly gay and the band tackles taboos that few other Arab musicians have explored.
The band blamed a defamatory campaign relying exclusively on fabrications that couldn't be further from the truth. The band said in a statement:
We are not on some sort of mission to arbitrarily blaspheme and disrespect people's religious symbols.
PlayerUnknown's Battleground is a 2017 South Korea Battle Royale by PUBG Corporation
Jordan's game censors at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) have banned PUBG.
A statement claimed that the action came after a wave of complaints from citizens and authorities alike. However, the TRC said one of its main reasons for implementing the ban was a World Health Organization study that classified PUBG as a violent game
leading to addiction and social isolation, further stating that children who play violent games are more violent than their peers.
Director of Beneficiaries Affairs at the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), Eng. Mohammad AlWathiq Shaqrah, revealed that after PUBG game was banned in Jordan, the TRC is planning to ban six other video games. He said that Fortnite is one of
the games expected to be banned.
Jinn is the first Arabic original TV series produced by Netflix. And it din not take long for a few Jordanians to become 'outraged'
Even before the audience had a chance to watch the first few episodes, people were calling for a ban on the series that showed Jordanian teenagers kissing and swearing.
The series , produced by Netflix and Kibrit Productions, takes a look at the friendship and budding romances between the students of a private high school in Petra, Jordan, after they unwittingly unleash a jinn, an evil spirit in Islam .
A few whingers attacked the series and accused it of promoting pornography, drugs and alcohol use among students. Journalist Wael al-Bteiri who launched the hashtag #Punish_Jinn told Al-Monitor that he considered the series to be an American infiltration
that aimed to damage Jordan through its dirty scenes and offensive language. He said
[It] encourages people to fornicate, drink alcohol and smoke weed. They want to drag our youths down into the decadence of the West. Everyone should take action to stop this mockery.
Dozens of Jordanian women signed a statement June 18 that called the series an offense against Jordan's moral fibre. The statement said:
We strongly refuse the superficiality of this series, as well as [its scenes] that are offensive to public decency and that exploit minors. It reflects an inappropriate image of Jordan, as it was shot in Petra. The historical city was depicted as a hub
for the jinn and a place of deviance.
On June 16, the Public Prosecutor of Amman called on the Cyber Crime Unit to take the necessary measures to ban the series.
Netflix responded to the controversy with a statement June 14 that it would not tolerate offensive statements or action toward the actors that starred in Jinn.
India's Most Wanted is a 2019 India action thriller by Raj Kumar Gupta (as Rajkumar Gupta)
Starring Arjun Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma and Gaurav Mishra.
India's Most Wanted is an upcoming Bollywood action thriller film directed by Raj Kumar Gupta starring Arjun Kapoor and Amrita Puri. The film is about tracking a terrorist in a secret mission and arresting him without firing bullets. It pays tribute to
unsung heroes of our society.
Film censors in UAE banned India's Most Wanted when the producers declined to delete a line of dialogue saying that most terrorists are based either in Pakistan or Dubai,
The director, Raj Kumar Gupta, explained:
Yes the film will not release in Dubai. There were some issues which could not be sorted and hence this decision. Yes the said dialogue is there in the film and it is a factual one based on the research that has been conducted. So we did not want to do
away with the dialogue and decided on retaining it in the film even if it entailed a non-release in Dubai.
Turkish TV has announced that they would not broadcast the NBA Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night because a Turkish NBA star and fierce critic of Turkish president Erdogan, Enes Kanter, plays for Portland Trailblazers.
The NBA final will also be banned if Portland Trailblazers get through.
Brazilian metal band Sepultura has been banned from entering Lebanon after members were accused of being devil worshippers.
According to Al Araby, Lebanon's General Security denied the artist visa applications for the band members. Skull Session, an organizer of metal events in Beirut, released a statement:
We are as outraged and angry as all of you will be.
We were told that the issue is delicate as it relates to insulting Christianity, that the band members are devil worshippers, that they held a concert in Israel, that they filmed a video clip supporting Israel, and that the decision was issued by the
head of the General Security Forces.
Skull Session denied these allegations, and criticized the recurring forms of censorship in Lebanon.
In 1993, Sepultura shot the music video for Territory in both Israel and Palestine, according to Loudwire . But, Skull Session confirmed that the band had not played a show in Israeli territory.
Lebanon's General Directorate of General Security has censored a caricature of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that was published in the French weekly Courrier International .
The censor covered the caricature with a sticker before allowing the publication to enter Lebanon.
The move has sparked debate on social media, including criticism and questions as to whether the directorate is affiliated with the Shiite group Hezbollah, a close ally of Tehran. There were also questions as to whether such censorship would apply to
other leaders who are caricatured by the French newspaper.
Killing Eve, the acclaimed TV hit is among the content being censored by Emirates airline due to its LGBT scenes.
Emirates, the world's fourth largest airline, offers films and television programmes with edited-out footage of same-sex kisses. They include Oscar-nominated Ladybird , and at least one episode of BBC drama Killing Eve, In the original programme,
one scene saw psychopathic assassin Villanelle seduce a woman. A kiss between them is removed. In Ladybird, the censored scene saw Ronan's protagonist burst into a toilet cubicle to find her boyfriend kissing another boy from their drama group. In the
edited version, the kiss is cut out and the film skips straight to the aftermath. A spokesperson for Emirates claimed:
Emirates acquires mostly theatrical unedited versions of content, but as a family friendly airline serving an international audience, where there is excessive violence, sex, nudity or language, we opt to license the edited versions created by the
Netflix has removed an episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj from its Saudi catalog, after the Kingdom's government took offence to a segment criticizing Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In the episode, the Muslim American comedian blasts Saudi Arabia's role in the war in Yemen and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey.
According to the Financial Times, the removal was not motivated by Saudi cash, but by legal threats. The streaming giant told the FT that it removed the episode after receiving a complaint from the Saudi Communications and Information Technology
The commission claimed that the episode violated a cybercrime law forbidding the production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy.
While the episode was pulled from Netflix, Saudi viewers keen for some anti-government comedy can watch it on Youtube, which is not blocked in the country. The censored episode is still available in the US.