kuwait MP calls for setting up media judicial department to avoid taking journalists to Criminal Court

March 15, 2010

Kuwait Towers

A Kuwaiti MP has called for the establishment of a specialized judicial department that will look into cases brought against journalists.

The department, to be made up of judges with cultural, political and legal backgrounds about the media, will help journalists avoid being dragged into the criminal court, MP Saleh Al Mulla said.

“The call for the specialized department stems from the sorry state of media affairs since cases are now referred to the criminal court. This is really shocking. Does this mean that reporting news is equated with crimes, bootlegging and using drugs?” he asked. “The existence of a panel of judges in the specialized department who are highly knowledgeable about the media should help improve the situation and preserve journalists’ freedom,” the MP said.

According to international media and rights organizations, Kuwait has one of the best rankings in media freedom in the Arab world.

However, the broadcasting of a controversial programme denigrating Bedouins and accusing some of them of breaking the law by holding dual citizenship has sparked a move by the government to amend the existing press code. Editors have already voiced concern about the proposed amendments.

Last week, Reporters Without Borders deplored fines imposed by a Kuwaiti court on a journalist.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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