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Kuwaiti TV channel shut down by authorities

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 27 September 2012 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the shutting down of the Kuwaiti TV channel El-Nahg, 24 hours after its launch.

On Monday, 24 September, the Ministry of Information stopped El-Nahg from broadcasting. The channel is affiliated with the dissolved, opposition-dominated parliament.

El-Nahg was broadcast on Arabsat on 23 September, a few hours after its launch. Some members of parliament say that it was shut down under government pressure to not broadcast the events of El-Eradah square, which occurred on 24 September. Kuwaiti authorities said that demonstrations should not take place in the square, as they consider such acts to be a violation of the public order and security; they added that demonstrators would be punished through jail and fines. The Minister of Information said that El-Nahg is not licensed and that those who created it did not apply for permits.

This isn't the first that a channel is shut down by authorities in Kuwait. In 2009, the authorities shut down El-Sour - a channel owned by a business man and political activist named Mohamed El-Jawihl. El-Sour was shut down for broadcasting a program called El-Sarya, which addresses the topic of dual nationalities in Kuwait. The show was rebroadcast through on European satellite television for a short period of time before El-Jawihl announced that the channel would be shut down forever, in May 2011.

ANHRI calls on Kuwait's authorities to respect the country's media and journalism freedoms. It also asks the authorities to stop compromising freedom of expression through restrictions and conditions.

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