Several lawmakers have accused the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of being biased in applying the law as it ordered the closure of Al-Watan daily for committing financial violations but did not take the same action against other companies with similar violations.
MP Nabil Al-Fadel pointed out the ministry should have shut down all companies found to have committed such violations, not just Al-Watan daily. He said the case is now in the court and its ruling will reveal the truth, asserting the daily is considered the ‘dean’ of Kuwaiti press.
He argued Kuwait should be proud of having a free press the same way it brags about its Constitution, considering more people read the newspaper than the Constitution. Commenting on the issue, MP Faisal Al- Duwaisan said it’s either the government woke up suddenly and wants to apply the law or it intends to deal with the case in a discriminatory or selective manner. He stressed the need to apply the law on everyone. “We reject selectivity which aims to break political opponents or to use the law as a tool in political wars. If the government is serious in its bid to apply the law, then it should be done fairly,” he concluded. In a related issue, sources disclosed the Administrative Court on Wednesday postponed deliberations on the petition filed by Al-Watan against the closure order until Jan 28.
Meanwhile, sources said the concerned court on Wednesday imposed fine of KD 9,000 on Al-Watan daily Editor-in-Chief Sheikh Khalifa Al-Ali Al-Sabah for the publication of a report on the controversial audio recording case. The Public Prosecution at the time prohibited the publication of such reports and the daily was shut down for two weeks for violating the directive.