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Kuwait jails journalist 14, April 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Kuwait.
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A Kuwaiti journalist has been jailed for 6 months for slandering Kuwait’s Prime Minster Sheikh Nasser Al Ahmed Al Sabah. Apparently, in a public gathering he said that he was “incapable of running the country” and he called on the PM to resign. Just imagine if such an absurd, petty and damaging standard was applied in the West.

Reporters Without Borders reports that Al Jassem, the journalist in question, is the subject of five lawsuits by the PM and the information minister. As a result of one of these suits he was fined $9500 along with the paper that published his article accusing the media of supporting the PM in fermenting Sunni-Shia tension in Kuwait.

Al Jassem was also encouraged to leave the country by Kuwait’s national security chief.

Kuwait’s Prime Minister is a nephew of the current Emir and has been forced to resign five times (I think) because of serious questions about his decision making as well about a cheque for $700,000 which he gave to an MP. Yet, rather than submit himself to the ‘indignity’ of being questioned by MPs as they requested, the Emir has dissolved Parliament three times in recent years.

Rather than dissolve Parliament for a 4th time to avoid wholesale paralysis of the Kuwaiti Parliamentary system and even the potential semi-permanent dissolution of the Parliament at a whole (as in the 1980s) he was questioned by MPs. Yet clearly the key issue remains: various Royal’s inability to get over the notion that they not actually divinely mandated beings and deal with people on a day-to-day basis.

In highlighting and provoking this kind of backward, regressive and wholly out-dated thinking, Mohammed Abdel Qader Al Jassem deserves neither jail nor a fine but the proverbial keys to Kuwait City. You can follow his blog at http://aljasem.org/

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Comments»

1. Kuwait uses terror laws to arrest journalist for questioning leadership « The Gulf blog - 30, June 2010

[…] Al Sabahs reacted furiously to these allegations. They rained down slander and defamation cases on Al Jassem who was sentenced to 6 months in jail in one example. Under […]


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