Kuwait editors reject amendments to press law

January 27, 2011

Kuwait’s newspapers editors-in-chief have rejected proposed amendments to the press and audio-visual laws as a grave setback to freedom of expression.

“Any proposal, suggestion of amendment to the print, publication or audiovisual laws must boost the freedom of opinion, expression and journalism as guaranteed in articles 36 and 37 of the constitution,” the editors said in a statement.

“It is not right to propose or amend a law in order to restrict freedoms and impose restrictions because the core issue is that laws should regulate the practice of these freedoms and not limit them,” the editors said, Kuwait Times reports on Wednesday.

According to the editors, the proposed amendments to provisions in the 2006 law introduce heavy restrictions, harsh punishments and heavy fines.

“Apart from an expansion to the themes and issues that cannot be published and to vague texts, the provisions contradict the principles of freedom that are guaranteed by the constitution,” the statement said.

“We believe that the proposed amendments were in reaction to recent events and developments as part of a political turmoil in Kuwait. However, the proposed amendments would in fact compound the situation and would fuel agitation.”

The parliament should promulgate and the government should support laws that boost freedoms, they said.

The meeting was attended by Ahmad Behbehani, the Chairman of the Kuwait Journalists Association, Yousuf Al Marzouq (Al Anbaa), Shaikh Khalifa Ali Al Khalifa And Waleed Al Jassem (Al Watan), Waleed Al Nisif (Al Qabas), Majed Al Ali (Al Rai), Suleiman Al Jarallah (Al Seyassah and Arab Times), Emad Bu Khmamseen (Annahar), Abdelhameed Al Da’as (Aalam Al Youm), Abdelhussein Al Sultan (Al Dar), Abd Al Rahman Yousuf Alyan (Kuwait Times), Dr Zuhair Al Abbad (Al Mustaqbal), Muthanna Al Furaij (Al Hurriyah), Nasser Al Otaibi (Al Jarida) and Adnan Al Rashed (Al Anbaa).




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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