Kuwait shuts opposition-linked television (AFP, 20/12/2012)

Kuwait on Thursday closed private television station Al-Youm, which backs the opposition, for allegedly failing to meet administrative conditions, the government said.

« The information ministry has scrapped the licence of a satellite station for violating the terms of the licence and after failing to meet a deadline to rectify its situation in line with the law, » the ministry said, quoted by the official KUNA news agency.

Al-Youm chairman Ahmad Al-Jabr confirmed to AFP via an SMS text message that the satellite channel had received orders to shut, and the station went off the air immediately.

Mohammad al-Daas, general manager of the channel which was established more than a year ago, said it would challenge the decision in court.

« Al-Youm channel has received a letter from the information minister scrapping the station’s licence with immediate effect. The station will seek recourse in court against this unfair decision, » Daas said on Twitter.
The station has broadcast programmes sympathetic with the opposition.

It interviewed many leading opposition figures in the run-up to a December 1 parliamentary election, and after the results were announced.
The Islamist, nationalist and liberal opposition, angry over an amended electoral law, has since been staging protests almost every night to demand the dissolution of the parliament.

On many occasions, the demonstrators were dispersed by riot police which used tear gas and stun grenades. Scores of youth activists have also been arrested and face trial.

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