Authorities maintain reporting ban on Al-Jassem case
|Publisher||Reporters Without Borders|
|Publication Date||30 June 2010|
|Cite as||Reporters Without Borders, Authorities maintain reporting ban on Al-Jassem case, 30 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c2d9cf52.html [accessed 20 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Prosecutor Hamed Al-Othman yesterday asked the information ministry to maintain a reporting ban on the case of journalist Mohamed Abdel Qader Al-Jassem, who is due to be tried on 20 September. The request was made the day after a Kuwait City criminal court released Al-Jassem on bail.
The ban has been in force since 24 May, when the justice ministry sent a directive to the information ministry forbidding both broadcast and print media to carry any reports about the proceedings against him (http://en.rsf.org/koweit-journalist-mohammed-abdel-qader-al-21-06-2010,37471.html).
Reporters Without Borders reiterates it condemnation of the news blackout imposed by the Kuwaiti authorities, which is unworthy of a country that claims to be a democracy. The media should be free to cover any and all subjects without any government control of their editorial policies.
28.06.2010 - Journalist Mohamed Al-Jassem released on bail
Reporters Without Borders hails Kuwaiti lawyer and journalist Mohammed Abdel Qader Al-Jassem's release by a criminal court today after 49 days in detention on politically-motivated charges of attacking national unity and defaming the prime minister.
"We are very relieved to learn of Al-Jassem's release, even if it is conditional, as his detention was utterly unjust," Reporters Without Borders said. "We continue to call for the complete withdrawal of the charges against him, as all he did was express a personal opinion verbally and in writing. This would enhance Kuwait's stature."
In today's hearing, his defence lawyers and doctors were able to tell the court that Al-Jassem's health had deteriorated since his arrest on 11 May for posting blog entries critical of government policy.
His lawyers have appealed against the court's decision to require payment of bail of 2,000 dinars (6,000 euros). Another hearing has been set for 20 September.
Both Al-Jassem's arrest and his detention were marked by many procedural irregularities (http://en.rsf.org/koweit-journalist...).