Reporters Without Borders condemns the 20 April decision by the public prosecutor’s office to suspend two newspapers that defied a two-month-old ban
on covering an investigation into videotapes that allegedly reveal plans to stage a coup d’état
Two daily newspapers, Al-Watan
and Alam Al-Yaoum
, have been ordered to suspend operations for two weeks. The public prosecutor claims that the blackout is necessary because news coverage could undermine the investigation.
“The prosecutor’s ban on media coverage of this case is a grave violation of freedom of information
” said Soazig Dollet, head of the Reporters Without Borders Middle East and North Africa desk. “The absurd and iniquitous suspension of those two news outlets again shows that the authorities are bent on controlling the media and, in this case, suppressing coverage of a sensitive political investigation
’s 13 and 14 April issues claimed that former senior officials were involved in the alleged coup conspiracy.
In a press release
, the information ministry announced that "it had been informed of
the public prosecutor’s decision to suspend the two newspapers for two weeks for
defying “a prohibition on publishing reports on case 2013/1241
publisher Sheikh Khalifa Ali Al-Khalifa told Reuters
that "the staff did not understand why they had been punished because they had done “nothing illegal
.” He added that "the newspaper would continue to publish on its website because the site came under a “different jurisdiction” and had not been closed
Several parliamentarians have criticized the suspensions
and have called for
changes to the media law.
Kuwait fell 13 places in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index
and is now ranked 91st out of 180 countries.