A Kuwaiti court has temporarily suspended the publication of two independent newspapers over articles about a secret probe into allegations of a coup plot to overthrow the Gulf monarchy’s government, the official state news agency reported.
KUNA issued a statement on Sunday by the Information Ministry saying it notified Al Watan and Alam Al Yawm newspapers of the suspension because they had violated a prosecutor-ordered media blackout of the investigation.
According to the ministry, a judge ordered the newspapers to stop printing for two weeks.
The deputy editor-in-chief at Al Watan, Waleed al-Jassim, said his newspaper regretted the decision and planned to contest the ruling.
Two television stations owned by Al Watan have been closed in compliance with the ban as well, al-Jassim said. Both stations were off the air late Sunday.
Al-Jassim said the newspaper’s website will stay online because it falls under a different jurisdiction.
Kuwait prides itself on having the Gulf’s most free-wheeling political system and a vibrant press, but denouncing the Western-backed emir is illegal.
The Kuwaiti prosecutor’s office earlier this month ordered that a probe into the videotape be held in secret and called for a media blackout of the investigation.
The tape purportedly contains allegations of a plot to topple the ruling system led by the emir, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah.
Public Prosecutor Dherar al-Asousi has said the media blackout is necessary to preserve the public interest.