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Freedom of press narrows in Kuwait

KUWAIT: Kuwait dropped 53 places to rank 158th out of 180 countries worldwide and third among Gulf states behind Qatar and the UAE respectively on the 2022 World Press Freedom Index. “The government exercises a significant degree of control over information, and freedom of expression remains limited,” reads the report released by Reporters without Borders.

“Many subjects are taboo in Kuwait, and it is particularly difficult for journalists to tackle migrant worker rights, women’s rights and corruption. The 2020 right to access information law is supposed to guarantee the work of journalists in Kuwait. But, in practice, the law is thwarted by censorship laws” that prohibit journalists, bloggers and online activists from tackling a wide array of topics, the report notes. “The same is true for the cybercrime law that took effect in January 2016.”

Kuwait dropped 53 spots from last year’s index, which ranked the country 105th globally. Kuwait managed a score of only 37.87 points in 2022 compared to 65.64 in 2021. The report ranks Kuwait at 170 in the political indicator subcategory (32.73 points), 175 in the economic indicator (19.39), 159 in the legislative indicator (36.84), 176 in the social indicator (27) and 70 in the security indicator (73.41).

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