Kuwaiti journalists may face fines of up to $1m

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Kuwaiti journalists will be fined up to KD300,000 ($1.05m) for criticising or misquoting the Emir or the Crown Prince under a draft media law approved by the Cabinet, according to local Arabic newspapers.

Journalists must also seek permission before quoting either of the royals, while fines of between KD10,000 and KD100,000 would be issued for those found guilty of revealing information from secret documents or meetings, regardless of their accuracy, Arabic daily Al-Anba reported.

The proposed law, approved by Cabinet on Monday, also includes a maximum 10 years’ jail for those found guilty of offending Allah, the Holy Prophets or Prophet Mohammad’s (pbuh) companions or wives.

The new regulations threaten to diminish Kuwait’s standing as the leader in media freedom in the Arab world, according to Reporters Sans Frontières, which ranked it top in the region in its World Press Freedom Index at number 60.

However, RSF also noted the country’s press freedoms were “insecure and fluctuated annually”.

Few details of the new law have been publicly revealed, however Al-Anba quoted anonymous sources that said the legislation applied to material published in print or broadcast media, including online.

A second Arabic daily Al-Qabas quoted a ministerial source as saying Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts also would be monitored for offensive messages.

In a statement published on Kuwaiti state news agency Kuna, Minister for Information Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah said the new legislation would “bolster” Kuwaiti media. “Any transgressions to media laws and regulations” would be addressed under the media-specific legislation rather than under criminal legislation.

The draft legislation must still be approved by the National Assembly.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Bringing Hollywood to the desert

Bringing Hollywood to the desert

The seventh instalment of Fast and Furious — one of the biggest...

Little-known investor poised to score big with Twitter IPO

Little-known investor poised to score big with Twitter IPO

New Yorker Suhail Rizvi has quietly amassed a $1bn 15% stake...

Location… twofour54

Location… twofour54

Is Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 the right place for you to set-up business...

Most Discussed
  • 15
    Germany puzzled as UAE think tank ordered to close

    Matt, your words sound kind of funny given the role the Britain has played in this region for so many decades.
    And given the democratic tradition that... more

    Thursday, 17 April 2014 7:10 PM - one of the joes
  • 10
    UAE father who whipped son to death wins appeal

    "Under Sharia, a parent cannot be executed for killing their child"
    A spouse could be executed if he/she kills his/her spouse, as none of them is... more

    Friday, 18 April 2014 3:38 PM - Nihar
  • 3
    To diet or not to diet?

    It is best to eat by your blood type. Following this diet is miraculous. Generic diets don't always work as certain foods are not good for the individual... more

    Friday, 18 April 2014 11:49 AM - Shamira Mitha
  • 54
    Three UAE women attacked with hammer at London hotel

    I really feel that Arabian Business.Com should now close this comments page. This should be all about sympathy for the families not what it is/has turned... more

    Wednesday, 16 April 2014 1:06 PM - Adrienne
  • 51
    Why Dubai isn't a plastic city

    What is definitely not a plastic city. The Arabs have a culture dating back to several centuries. 50 years back Dubai was just a fishing village. Today... more

    Tuesday, 8 April 2014 3:49 PM - P. MADHUSUDAN
  • 48
    DMCC boss Ahmed Bin Sulayem entertains Robert Mugabe in Dubai

    @fga ''However today, simply because he decided to dispossess a few white farmers of their land and redistribute to the poorer indigenous blacks'' more

    Sunday, 13 April 2014 3:02 PM - Matt Williams