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  Politics
HH PM reiterates commitment to press freedom
24/04/2013   |   08:27 PM | Kuwait News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط
HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah during his meeting with chief editors of Kuwaiti press
HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah during his meeting with chief editors of Kuwaiti press
KUWAIT, April 24 (KUNA) -- In a candid, frank and expanded meeting with chief editors of Kuwaiti press, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah reiterated Kuwait's full commitment to and respect of the freedom of expression and freedom of press.
The meeting, held at HH the Amir's tent at Bayan Palace Wednesday and attended by Minister of Information Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah and senior officials at the HH the PM Diwan, focused on the concerns of Kuwaiti journalists about the government-proposed unified media law.
At the start of the meeting, HH the Prime Minister categorically denied claims that the government tries to restrict press freedom through the proposed bill.
"I say it frankly and clearly that these (claims) are not right and we can't accept that our press has less freedom than that of all free press around the world," HH PM said.
"The government is not against the press. On the contrary, the government supports, stands-by and boasts it at all international arenas." Sheikh Jaber described the Kuwaiti press as a source of pride for all Kuwaitis. HH the Prime Minister expressed full confidence that the Kuwaiti press is responsible institutions that put the higher interest of the state before anything else.
He pointed out that the Kuwaiti government is keen on listening to the concerns of Kuwaiti journalists about the unified media law and other media-related issues.
HH Sheikh Jaber called for a frank dialogue between the government and press to address loopholes and tackle the concerns of both sides.
"We consult and exchange points of view with you to help reach a compromise that does not infringe upon press freedom and its mission and at the same time helps in the fulfillment of the interests of the state of Kuwait and its people," he said. He also urged journalists to keep in touch with the government and to present their proposals for amending the bill before referring it to the National Assembly.
HH the Prime Minister laid it bare that the bill would not be passed without the consent of the press people.
"If you are against the bill, it will be shelved," Sheikh Jaber vowed. HH the PM wished the Kuwaiti press and media would retain their professional approach in pursuing accuracy and credibility in coverage of all news.
For his part, Information Minister Sheikh Salman underlined that "Kuwait was and will continue to be one of the leading states in freedom of press." He explained that the proposed law deals with new developments in media work that need regulations, and addresses some of the loopholes of the media law of 2006.
"As you all know, there is no prior censorship on press or media content in Kuwait," Sheikh Salman said.
"The bill neither requires prior permission nor permits censorship on social media." Meanwhile, the attending chief editors, including Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) Chairman and Director General Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahim Al-Sabah, expressed their appreciation of HH the Prime Minister's invitation and his keenness to know their points of view and to heed their concerns about the draft law.
They demanded separate and different provisions for press, TV, radio and social media content.
They also admitted the need for legislation to regulate social media and its content as well as financial control over the press and media institutions. (end) sss.hrz.tb.ibi KUNA 242027 Apr 13NNNN
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