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Regrettable as it is, it's not really surprising that censorship of media, media activists and bloggers increases during periods of political tension. Less expected, perhaps, is the increase in incidents of cultural censorship. Released last month, SKeyes' report recorded official bans on three films, a play and a foreign publication in 2013; two additional acts of cultural censorship resulted from pressure from unofficial bodies.Lea Baroudi, co-founder and general coordinator of anti-censorship NGO March, whose online Virtual Museum of Censorship records incidents of cultural censorship since 1940, says she too has noticed the correlation. Incidents of cultural censorship, she notes, have been increasing since late 2010 . Officers at the Censorship Bureau deny any correlation between Lebanon's political climate and increased censorship of cultural production.General Security has the authority to recommend a course of action but, Akiki stressed, they don't write the laws.Akiki tells The Daily Star religious authorities do not have the power to make decisions regarding censorship.
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