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Saudi’s information ministry has said that it is planning to introduce new regulations to control news websites in the kingdom.

May 27, 2009 12:48 by

The Saudi Ministry of Information is planning to issue special regulations to control news websites operating out of the kingdom, reports Gulf News. The move apparently came after Saudi female journalists protested against a report published in a website that allegedly defamed women in the kingdom. The report in the website, called “Saudi women in red evenings,” accused some press women in Riyadh of misusing their relations with a number of senior figures in local papers.

Some of the new regulations that the ministry is planning to introduce reportedly include that all Saudi electronic newspapers and websites must obtain official permits from the ministry, and that owners and the chief editors must put their names on the front pages.

Earlier this month, Abdulaziz Khoja, Saudi’s minister of culture and information confirmed that the country intends to enact laws, regulations, and legislation for newspapers and internet websites.

“We hope to deter any dangerous [writing] that may be published in these newspapers and websites via this regulation. These issues have forced us to think seriously about enacting laws to regulate publishing and the media in this way,” he said at a press conference.

Saudi’s control over the internet recently came under the spotlight after Fouad Farhan, a blogger in the country, was jailed in December 2007 and held for four months because he had demanded political reform in his blog.

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