Kuwait reiterates pledge of zero tolerance towards using media to erode national unity

July 7, 2010
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Kuwait has reiterated its pledge of zero tolerance towards attempts to use media to erode its unity, a government minister has said.

“All parties are responsible for protecting and consolidating national unity, and the government is serious in its measures to counter any attempt to harm this unity,” Shaikh Ahmad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, oil and information minister, said. “The protection of national unity is everyone’s responsibility, and not the responsibility of only the information ministry.”

Speaking to reporters following a reunion with the Parliamentary Committee for Negative Social Phenomena, Shaikh Ahmad said he briefed them on the measures taken by the information ministry to implement the audio-visual media and the print and publications laws and on the suggestions to amend them.

“We have presented all amendments to the Cabinet, for review by its legal committee,” he said. “The government is serious about cooperating with the legislative authority to ensure the implementation of the law and countering all negative phenomena,” he said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

The minister said that the blog monitoring law was “still being studied and discussed.”

A draft of the laws will be submitted to the parliament after the summer break.

The minister earlier this year came under intense fire following the broadcasting by a private channel of a talk show that allegedly harmed Kuwait’s unity.

Speakers on the talk show said that several tribal Kuwaitis broke the law by holding dual citizenship and doubted their allegiance to the country.

Angry tribesmen, including several of their deputies in parliament, staged rallies against the private channel and put pressure on the minister to resign.

The station was taken off the air and its owner was briefly detained before he was allowed to go home.

The incidents deeply divided the Kuwaiti society about the merit of free speech and the information ministry suggested amending the existing laws to put more responsibilities and pressure on television owners. The ministry’s move waded into controversy.

 

         

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About the author

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

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