The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information on Friday reiterated the government's belief in the freedom of expression and media, and in democracy.
Responding to queries sent by a CNN interactive program on the press freedom in the Middle East, the ministry said: "Kuwait has a long-standing proud tradition of open debate and freedom of speech with free, transparent and inclusive elections and the most robust parliament in the region. The government affirmed its belief in Kuwait's freedom of the media, democratic system and independent judiciary." It added: "The Kuwaiti constitution which was implemented in 1962, guaranteed the right for every citizen to express his opinion and thoughts on various issues related to State matters. The constitution clearly states in Article 36, 'Freedom of opinion and of scientific research is guaranteed. Every person has the right to express and propagate his opinion verbally, in writing, or otherwise, in accordance with the conditions and procedures specified by law." It said Kuwait welcomes journalists from around the world to come and report the news as it has a robust domestic press that enjoys the highest level of freedom in the region. "Since its independence, open debate has been a cornerstone of Kuwait's culture and the state continues to encourage democratic participation, representation and freedom of expression in accordance with the rule of law." In reality, Kuwait's strong democracy was founded on freedom of speech, and free expression is enshrined in Kuwait's constitution, it said, adding that Kuwait continues to be an open and democratic society where over two dozen independent newspapers and television channels host lively debates on Kuwaiti politics every day. Furthermore, The Ministry of Information is dedicated to the proposition that no government supervision be imposed on newspapers, TV channels or electronic media prior to broadcast or publication.
It boasted Kuwait has always been distinguished by its respect for and protection of freedom of speech in social media. Far from politically motivated, Kuwait, like many of the world's democracies, enforces its media regulations through the impartial courts.
However, the Kuwaiti Government is looking to upgrade laws that are related to electronic media, the ministry said, noting that the new electronic media law will not contradict with the freedom of speech that is guaranteed by the constitution.
CNN contacted the governments of the countries and territories featured in the Press Freedom in the Middle East interactive for their official positions on freedom of the press and policies towards social media.
Kuwait and Bahrain were on the top of those countries which sent replies to the interactive program, while other countries have failed to reply so far, the CNN said