Kuwait's parliament is seen in Kuwait City on February 16, 2022. The country's Information Ministry recently revoked the licenses of dozens of media outlets and referred 73 outlets for prosecution. (AFP/Yasser al-Zayyat)

Kuwait withdraws licenses of 90 news websites, refers 73 outlets for prosecution

Washington, D.C., June 24, 2022 – Kuwaiti authorities should restore the licenses recently withdrawn from dozens of news websites, and should ensure that media outlets are not prosecuted for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.

On Wednesday, June 22, the Kuwaiti Information Ministry announced that over the last two weeks it had revoked the licenses of 90 news websites, and had referred 73 media outlets to state prosecutors “due to violations of the law” including publishing false news, according to news reports and a statement by the ministry.

“Kuwaiti authorities must reverse their recent decisions to withdraw the licenses of nearly 100 news websites and refer dozens of outlets for prosecution,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “Authorities should not use the country’s licensing policies to restrict journalists’ work, and should ensure that false news charges are not levied against media outlets.”

CPJ was unable to immediately confirm which news outlets had been targeted by the Information Ministry. CPJ emailed the ministry and its undersecretary and international media office for comment, but did not receive any replies.