Lebanese Censors Seize Hundreds of CDs, DVDs from Virgin Megastore

Published January 8th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

A highly celebrated British multimedia company came under censorship attack in Beirut on Sunday, when hundreds of CDs and DVDs were seized. 


The Virgin Megastore record and multi-media center was raided by the censorship division of the Lebanese security services, the Beirut store's management said Sunday, as quoted by AFP. 


Opened in July last year, Richard Branson, the quirky British owner of the Virgin music stores and airline, personally opened the largest Virgin megastore in the Middle East in downtown Beirut. Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and a host of other ministers attend the firecracker-filled ceremony. 


The local English newspaper, the Daily Star, recorded the event as a major economic development in the year.  


The censors said the items seized on Saturday were either morally unsuitable, contravened the boycott of Israel, or incited violence amongst young people, the management told the agency.  


More than 600 discs were seized, the general security services said in a statement. They were all illegal goods as "their taxes had not been paid, and they were being sold without a licence." It said that some of the products "undermined religions, contravened good morals and Israeli boycott laws, or included texts inciting young people to commit suicide," which was in violation of court decisions. 


The case has been referred to legal authorities, added the statement released on the official ANI news agency. MP Boutros Harb, who said Lebanon “was increasingly becoming a police state”, criticized the move in the press. (Albawaba.com) 

© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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