Media law presented by MOI could impede press freedom

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 6: MP Hamad Al-Olayan has submitted a proposal for amendments to the draft media regulation law. These amendments involve revising certain articles and introducing new ones. Al-Olayan expressed his concerns about the original law, presented by the Ministry of Interior, stating that it grants excessive powers that could impede press freedom. He emphasized the need to remove the imprisonment sentence outlined in Article 94.

In his memorandum, Al-Olayan highlighted that the Kuwaiti Constitution guarantees press, media, and publishing freedom. He emphasized his duty to uphold these freedoms as a representative of the Kuwaiti people. He also pledged to advocate for the rights of media professionals within the National Assembly.

Al-Olayan noted that the proposed amendments were formulated after consulting with media professionals, experts, and stakeholders. He aimed to develop an optimal media law that strengthens the media process. He criticized the increased powers granted to the ministry in the draft law, suggesting that judicial oversight should control the granting and revocation of licenses.

He criticized the draft law’s length, repetition, redundancy, and ambiguous language, advocating for clear, unambiguous laws. Al-Olayan opposed the inclusion of prison sentences and advocated for the abolition of such penalties. He also stressed the need for the explanatory memorandum to accompany the draft, elucidating its purpose and clarifying ambiguous terms.

Al-Olayan emphasized that freedoms are non-negotiable and a red line that must be preserved. He called for the abolition of all imprisonment penalties mentioned in Article 94 and highlighted the importance of prohibiting pretrial detention during investigations.

Regarding journalist investigations, Al-Olayan proposed involving the Kuwait Journalists’ Association, ensuring their presence and representation during investigations. He also addressed concerns about excessive fines and bails, urging a reduction and provided technical observations of interest to journalists.

This news has been read 1747 times!

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