Kuwait condemns attack on TV channel owner

December 7, 2010

Kuwait’s parliament speaker and lawmakers have condemned the attack on Mohammad Al Jouwaihal the owner of a television channel, saying that it was regrettable and could not be tolerated by the Kuwaiti society regardless of the causes.

“We cannot allow the use of wrong behavior to fix wrong attitudes, if that is the case,” Jassem Al Khurafi said. “We pray to God that such condemnable acts are not repeated and to preserve us from wrongful behavior. Kuwait is a country of law, order and institutions and we should have the law of the jungle under any form,” he told reporters on Sunday in comments on the attack.

Several MPs said that the assault was alien to the Kuwaiti culture and asked all parties to refrain from compounding a tense situation.

Opposition MP Mohammad Al Hayef called for the full application of the law against all those implicated in the assault.

Al Jouwaihal, a controversial figure who faced problems after his station aired a programme deemed offensive by Kuwait’s tribes, lost consciousness on Saturday evening when he was attacked by an angry crowd of people who wanted to prevent him from attending a forum.

The police on Sunday said that Al Jouwaihal was recuperating at a local hospital and that he was out of danger.

“He has started telling the police about the attack and he has also received visitors from his family as well,” a police spokesperson said, quoted by Al Aan news portal. “There is no truth to the allegation that he has been paralysed,” he said.

The police is now working on identifying the people who abused him verbally by looking at the video clips and pictures available, the spokesperson said.

“They will be quizzed and transferred to the public prosecutor for legal procedures,” he said.

The spokesperson said that they have not received any complaint from lawmaker Mislim Al Barrak following allegations that Al Jouwaihal spat on him, a gesture that sparked the melee and the physical assault on the television owner.

According to witnesses, the forum at the house of lawmaker Ahmad Al Saadoon on Saturday to discuss the constitution of Kuwait was attended by a large crown that included 23 current MPs, former lawmakers and political figures.

Forum organisers, Development and Reform Bloc, said in a release on Sunday that they condemned the attack even though Al Jouwaihal “had caused a lot of harm to several segments of the Kuwaiti society,” and insisted that it happened outside Al Saadoon’s home.

“Mohammad Al Jouwaihal was not invited to the forum and he provoked the violent clashes after he spat at the large television screen broadcasting the speeches and made a terrible gesture with his hand,” the bloc said. “People got infuriated and things would have been gotten a lot worse if people did not step in to calm the situation.”




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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