The Parliament on Wednesday approved the Electronic Media Draft Law in its first and second readings, with 37 members in favor and four against. In the amended version of the draft law, the Parliament added a clause on the cancellation of the license of a website in case the owner dies.
The new clause states that in case of the owner’s death, the license will be cancelled if there is no heir or if the heir failed to transfer the license within the specifi ed period.
The amended draft law states that the concerned minister shall issue a decision on license applications within 30 days from the date of submitting the application. If a decision is not taken when this period lapses, the application is considered rejected.
During deliberations on the draft law, Information Minister Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah explained the draft law regulates electronic media in order to keep pace with the information and technology revolution, and to protect the rights of the people.
He confirmed coordination with many concerned authorities and consultations with electronic media experts to ensure that the law is in line with the Constitution, particularly the stipulation on freedom of expression. He stressed Kuwait is a State of laws and it will not allow anyone to harm its people.
He asserted, “We seek balanced relationships with everyone. We do not want the electronic media sector to clash with others, especially if it carries the national identity and it is licensed in Kuwait. The draft law has taken into account all aspects of the freedom of expression.”
The minister clarified this law does not cover individuals and it does not restrict their freedom, as it is applicable to reputable electronic media platforms in a bid to make Kuwait worthy of emulation in terms of granting freedoms.
Commenting on the draft law, Chairman of the Education Committee MP Ouda Al-Ruwaie clarified the government referred the draft law to the panel last year. He said the panel took into consideration the opinions of experts, organizations, civil institutions and owners of websites. He disclosed the draft law consists of 27 articles which are in line with the Constitution.
He cited Article Two which stipulates the State’s religion is Islam, “so we cannot stand looking at this world of technology without taking any step to regulate the electronic media in order to protect the pillars of society.” In another development, the Parliament also approved the bill on amending the Press Law in its first and second readings. The revised version of the law includes stipulations on anything published by websites and other electronic applications.
Source: Arab Times