Egypt censorship body to 'deal firmly' with Ramadan series that skipped review

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Jul 2013

2013 Ramadan series flout censors despite warnings to production agencies and satellite channels; Egypt censorship board head says future work will be more closely scrutinised

Abd ElSattar Fathy, the head of censorship on artistic work. Photo credit: (Ahram gate)

To avoid issues with Egypt's censorship board, producers of Ramadan's televised drama series dubbed their work "Adult Only," intended for those over the age of 18.

However, Egypt's censorship board maintains that the drama industry does not have special regulations regarding age, and as such the airing of series under an "Adult Only" label is itself a violation, censorship board head Abdel-Sattar Fathy told Al-Ahram's Arabic website.

Many of the Ramadan dramas contained inappropriate content that triggered debates regarding censorship. The TV dramas featured vulgar dialogue and crude gestures in several scenes, Fathy told Al-Ahram's Arabic website.

Fathy explained that "all topics are permissible and there is no such thing as an unacceptable issue, but there is only one condition, which is to maintain a minimal amount of decency."

Fathy told Al-Ahram's Arabic website that from the beginning of Ramadan, he sent a number of warnings to production agencies who were airing their series without censorship approval.

Despite multiple warnings to both the production agencies and the satellite channels, "no one responded," Fathy added.

Fathy says the censorship laws will be applied more firmly to future work, assuring that those companies who did not comply with warnings would be penalised.

Among the Ramadan series that slipped through the censors include 'Al-Ragel Al-Enab' (The Jujube Man), 'Alf Salama' (A Speedy Recovery), 'Hekayet Hayah' (The Story of Hayah), 'Mazag El-Kheir' (A Good Mood), and 'Aamal Okhra' (Other Work).

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