His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah received in the Amiri tent at Bayan Palace today Chairman of Kuwait Journalists Association and Editors of Local Newspapers to exchange opinions regarding the Unified Media Law, present at the meeting was His Excellency Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah.
His Highness began the meeting by affirming his absolute rejection of restricting press freedom saying that" if there is one thing that we are proud of in Kuwait it is our press and media" stressing that there are no intentions to suppress or limit the media.
His Highness added "quite frankly it is not true and we can't accept that our press is any less free than the free press around the world".
His Highness said that "even if we are sometimes displeased with the materials being published it doesn't mean that we suppress the writers and this is through our confidence of the great awareness which is enjoyed by our press and the proof is that there are some articles which are banned by some newspapers and are being broadcasted through other channels emphasizing the sense of awareness the media has and its dedication to the interest of Kuwait and its people".
His Highness added that "most of the problems facing Kuwait are sometimes due to press aggravation", wondering "why don't we be realistic and sit down to discuss these problems and their causes".
His Highness expressed his immense confidence in the large Kuwaiti Press Institutions and their dedication to the interest of the country, expressing his readiness to listen to the opinions of editors regarding the unified media law or any other subject that concerns the media and related notes.
His Highness stressed that the government is not against the press ,on the contrary, the government supports the press, stands beside it and is proud of its performance in all events and forums, pointing out that the Kuwaiti press is a pioneer in defending the country from within and the outside, even if it criticize the government's performance.
Regarding the issuance of acquittal verdicts in most of the "opinion" cases filed by the National Security and Ministry of Information, His Highness said "we respect the judiciary and its ruling", pointing out that the courts are degrees that might vary in their rulings.
His Highness commended the regulatory and media sense of the Kuwaiti Press Institutions, it is keen to prevent what might harm the country and to provide and support what might benefit the country when publishing articles, given its long history and the accumulation of its experiences as a result of conscious professional practice.
His Highness added that" the freedoms that we enjoy didn't come out of the blue, but stems from our Kuwaiti customs and traditions by communicating between the ruler and the people". The editors expressed their appreciation for the position of His Highness the Prime Minister towards Kuwaiti Press Institutions, his keenness to listen to their opinions and views regarding the Unified Media Law and His Highness' interaction with their suggestions in reconsidering the draft law through continuous coordination with them.
They stressed on the importance of not linking the law between printed and visual media, means of social communication and what is being published, pointing out the need of special legislations regarding the means of social communication.
The editors acknowledged the importance of the existence of financial control over press and media institutions; however they have also stressed the importance of the control to be confidential so that it won't be a source of disturbance to the press institutions or to be exploited by others against it.
The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Board and the Director General of Kuwait News Agency Sheikh Mubarak Al-Duaij Al-Ibrahem Al-Sabah and a number of Senior Officials in the Diwan of His Highness the Prime Minister.