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
"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
HH the Prime Minister expressed full confidence that the Kuwaiti press is
responsible institutions that put the higher interest of the state before
He pointed out that the Kuwaiti government is keen on listening to the
concerns of Kuwaiti journalists about the unified media law and other
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
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
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
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
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
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