Freedom of the Press

Kuwait

Kuwait

Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

49

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

19

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

8

Self-censorship is widely practiced to avoid penalties under the Printing and Publications Law and the penal code. They restrict criticism of the emir or relations with other states, material deemed offensive to religion, incitement to violence, hatred, dissent, or news that affects the value of the national currency. Arbitrary enforcement further adds to the harassment of journalists. Broadcasting is fully state-owned. Newspapers are privately owned. They frequently criticize government policies and officials. They strongly criticized the lengthy deliberations over forming a new government in February. In April, a court ordered the Al-Jazeera television network to pay damages for a talk-show host who accused Kuwaitis of using acid to kill Iraqis, Palestinians, and Kuwaitis at the end of the Gulf war. The editor of al-Majales, a veteran female journalist, was shot to death in March.