Kuwait could lose its position as the Gulf state with the best reputation on press freedom after yesterday closing down the local office of rolling news channel Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera Kuwait bureau chief Saad al Saeedi is quoted on the channel’s website: “Today, I received a phone call from the information ministry informing me that the office has been closed immediately and our accreditations have been withdrawn.”
Ministry officials stated the reason for the closure was “the latest developments and your interference in Kuwait’s internal affairs,” Saeedi said.
Al Jazeera had aired extensive coverage of a police crackdown on a gathering held by the Kuwaiti opposition on Wednesday. It showed footage of police beating activists and aired interviews with members of the Kuwaiti opposition following the clashes in which four Kuwaiti members of parliament were hurt.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Kuwait had been regarded as the best Gulf state for press freedom.