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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05KUWAIT5286 2005-12-28 13:10:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kuwait
Cable title:  

KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION: The New Press Law

Tags:   PHUM PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR KU 
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VZCZCXRO7910
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHMOS
DE RUEHKU #5286/01 3621310
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281310Z DEC 05
FM AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2348
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KUWAIT 005286 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR NEA/ARPI, NEA/PA, NEA/PPD, INR/NESA
LONDON FOR TSOU
PARIS FOR ZEYA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV KPAO KMDR KU

SUBJECT: KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION: The New Press Law



1. Summary: The Kuwaiti press was vigorous in its coverage
of the new press law which was seen as groundbreaking. The
daily Arabic-language newspapers provided readers with some
of the modifications proposed by the special panel formed to
study the law and also changes that have been made to the
law since it was first drafted. The topic has drawn great
attention throughout Kuwaiti society as the law is not only
seen as one dealing with the press, but also as a step in
the direction of freedom of expression and of the press.
End Summary.

Selected Headlines


--------------------------





2. Sunday, December 25, 2005

-- Al-Qabas, front page, "The government accepts `normal
amendments' to `press law'"

-- Al-Qabas, p. 22, "Parliamentary consensus on the
importance of `press' and disagreement on the penalties"

-- Al-Rai Al-Aam, front page, "Al-Muslim to Al-Rai Al-Aam:
`press' is a gain and the most of what is permitted and our
six amendments are superficial, they do not touch the core
and soul of the law"

-- Al-Rai Al-Aam, p. 16, "The new press law, taking the
historical opportunity or missing it?"; "Al-Basiri: The
government and the MPs should overcome their differences and
ratify the press law in the most harmonious form"; "Al-Adwa:
The `press' should be ratified tomorrow and the amendments
should not touch the core or soul of the law"; "Ali Al-
Rashid: We will accept the ratification of the press law as
is"; "The new press law in the eyes of Ambassadors: more
freedom and survival of the fittest"

-- Al-Rai Al-Aam, p. 17, "Syndicate members call on MPs to
ratify the new press law: more room for opinion and
expression, it solidifies democracy and develops freedoms"

-- Al-Rai Al-Aam, p. 18, "Al-Muslim to Al-Rai Al-Aam:
`educational' added superficial amendments to the `press'
and the law will be ratified tomorrow if the government
votes for it"

-- Al-Watan, p. 3, "Mohamed Al-Basiri: the government's
statements on the press law are a conspiracy"

-- Al-Seyassah, front page, "An increase in the number of
MPs that oppose the press law"

-- Al-Seyassah, p. 2, "A difficult birth faces `the press'
tomorrow"

-- Al-Anbaa, front page, "The agreement between `the
Islamists' and `independents' returns `the press' to the
educational committee"

-- Al-Anbaa, p. 24, "Corruption and Iranian agents in Al-
Jaafari's government, Allawi wins with the votes of the
ministers, MPs, officials, and employees in the Green Zone"



3. Monday, December 26, 2005

-- Al-Qabas, front page, "`Press' passes with only the
modifications of the `educational'"

-- Al-Qabas, p. 8, "The problem of penalties and
expectations for returning the press law to `educational'"

-- Al-Qabas, p. 17, "Al-Tabtabaei: The press law is a large
gain"

-- Al-Rai Al-Aam, front page, "The press, new version"

-- Al-Rai Al-Aam, p. 17, "Al-Basiri: Our happiness will be
complete with the ratification of the press law"

-- Al-Rai Al-Aam, p. 18, "Egyptian MPs, politicians, and
media personnel praised the press law: A democratic step
that counts for sheikh Sabah and works towards spreading
freedom"

-- Al-Watan, front page, "Tug-of-war today between the two
branches over the press and pensioners"


KUWAIT 00005286 002 OF 002


-- Al-Anbaa, front page, "`Press' eliminates the press's
right to defend Kuwait"

-- Al-Anbaa, p. 7, "Articles of the law prevent the press
from exercising the right to defend Kuwait"

Block Quotes


--------------------------





4. Sunday, December 25, 2005

-- Abdul Latif Al-Daej wrote for the moderate daily Al-Qabas
under the title "No freedom of expression in Kuwait":
"Freedom of expression is to be able to express your
opinions without boundaries or criteria. It is an
individual's right that neither the press law nor any other
law should interfere with. There is no fundamental
difference between freedom of expression and freedom of
opinion. But, there is a fundamental difference between
freedom of the press in any manner and freedom of
expression. The new press law includes some flexibility on
the right to publish. To reiterate, the positive aspects of
the new press law are limited. Therefore, I will continue
to say that the new press law did not bring us new freedoms
of expressions or opinion and I still challenge the
government, the Minister of Information, and Shuaa Al-Qati
to prove the opposite."

-- Salah Al-Fadly wrote for the moderate daily Al-Rai Al-Aam
under the title "So we won't return empty-handed": "The
government has made it clear that any modifications made to
the text of the law will lead to its refusal as a whole.
Everyone knows that the government was not happy when
agreeing on the amendments to the law and that it wishes for
any trouble that would give it a reason to refuse the law as
it previously did on the issue of electoral districts. The
government's approval of the National Council's points is a
golden opportunity to bring the press law into the light
that may not be repeated in the future. We hope the MPs
will comprehend the message sent to them and bite their
tongues during tomorrow's session so that the law will pass
in peace. That is why modifications should be postponed
till the law is passed otherwise we will return empty-
handed."

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LEBARON