Kuwait back as leader in freedom of the press in the Arab world

Posted by Mark

After falling down behind Lebanon last year, Kuwait is once again back in the lead in the latest World Press Freedom Index for 2012. Below is the ranking for the Middle East and North Africa, the global ranking is in the brackets:

1- Kuwait (78)
2- Israel (92)
3- Lebanon (93)
4- UAE (112)
5- Qatar (114)
6- Oman (117)
7- Algeria (112)
8- Jordan (128)
9- Tunis (134)
10- Morocco (138)
11- Iraq (152)
12- Palestine (153)
13- Libya (154)
14- Saudi Arabia (158)
15- Egypt (166)
16- Sudan (170)
17- Yemen (171)
18- Bahrain (173)
19- Iran (175)
20- Syria (176)

You can check out the full list in PDF format [Here]


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55 comments, add your own...


  1. Alestath says:

    like usual Kuwait first

  2. vampire says:

    leading arab world would make sense but israel??! impressive

  3. BB says:

    And since when Israel is part of the Arab world??? :)

    • Mark says:

      the list is for the middle east and north africa.

    • Conformy says:

      When Arab countries sent their Arab Jews to israel. They became more Arabic. But I guess the label Arab is not just culture or ethnicity but specifically language, but if a foreigner speaks Arabic it doesn’t make him Arabic either. So culture and ethnicity is also important and while differences do exists there are also similarities.

      By definition that is correct, but there is a lot more to the situation than the language as an identity to the region.

  4. Desert Girl says:

    Sorry, but I’m not buying it. As long as bloggers and journalists still get arrested, I wouldn’t call it “free”. As you know, neither of us can post what we want on blogs and as a writer, I can’t write what I want and have it published.

    • Mark says:

      well i had to pay Benihana last week KD1,000 for writing my opinion on the place on the blog and yes tweeters and I think a blogger got detained this year for something they’ve posted online. But my guess is that the freedom of the press is just that, freedom of the press and doesn’t include bloggers who aren’t the press.

    • med1st says:

      It doesn’t say Kuwait has freedom of press let’s just say it’s less worse than a lot of countries after all our freedom of speech and press made the government resigns and you can write what ever you want as long your not making thing up about somebody or he could make a lawsuit against you.

    • aaa says:

      The issue is that the rest of the Arab world has absolutely no freedom of the press. If a blogger can get arrested and Kuwait tops the list imagine how bad it is the farther down you go.

    • Proud Kuwaiti says:

      No disrespect Desert Girl, but the US lost spots in this press freedom poll due to arrests of journalists in Occupy Wall Street:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/01/25/press-freedom-occupy-wall-street-us-arrests_n_1230825.html

      • Desert Girl says:

        Oh I don’t doubt it. Censorship is alive and well in the States. But I’m speaking from the perspective of a journalist in Kuwait. I’ve been writing for 15 years (in print) and it has become increasingly harder to write about anything at all.

        • aaa says:

          Can you elaborate? Is it because of government censorship or private interests (don’t write about this company because my cousin owns it, etc.)

  5. kUWtI says:

    How much did they pay them to put KWT at the top of the list? People can see through this and they only make themselves look more corrupt.

    • med1st says:

      I don’t think that’s true because if that’s the case there are a lot of countries has more money and much bigger and they have more influence on the world than Kuwait like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel why aren’t they on the top of the list.

    • aaa says:

      Look at the other countries in the list. Is it really hard to beat countries that have secret police who turn in their family members for saying the wrong thing out loud?

  6. stranger says:

    i don’t see Tunisia on the list ..

  7. xyz says:

    yaay! sorry just had to scream! yaay :D

  8. cirusdavirus says:

    what a load of crap!

  9. Ali Sleeq says:

    It’s not just about what you say, but also about government regulation and approval of what is written.

    In this regard Kuwait is most free.

  10. Salman's PR agent says:

    is this even relevant? How do they determine which is where? or do they pull these statistics out of their /heads?

  11. Blue says:

    Hate to ruin it all for you guys…
    But Mauritania ranks 67

    http://dubaisession.com/21379

  12. Waseem says:

    To be honest, I dont believe in such lists… All favorite countries of “publishing country” would be far from red or black. Just notice most of countroies that are red (specially russia) are more free than many europian countries.

  13. med1st says:

    when it come to freedom of press and speech in Kuwait things is getting better i mean five years ago people wouldn’t dare to say some of the things they say today.

  14. Jaber says:

    When a country like Israel places second, you know the standards are below the ground when it comes to measuring “freedom” of anything in the middle east.

  15. Burhan says:

    Really ? what freedom do i have as a non-Kuwaiti…?
    1, i am 19 and still cant make a driving license.
    2, cant start my own Business unless i have a Kuwaiti Partner or wasta.
    3, cant buy my own property even if i have the money o_O
    4, Kuwait University will not admit me because i am not a Kuwaiti !
    5, i cannot vote x_x

    • aaa says:

      None of those are freedom of the press, way to read

      And where the hell can you vote if you’re not a citizen?

      • Burhan says:

        well then i am born in Kuwait and living here from 19 years ! and i would love to become a citizen of Kuwait but nooooo Kuwait wont grant the citizenship x_x

    • med1st says:

      What does that have to do with freedom of press and what country make you vote if ur not a citizen? are you crazy listen ur living her because it’s better than where ever you came from and if you don’t like living her and think badly of Kuwaiti you always have the option to go back or live in another country.

  16. Baqdonis says:

    Who cares about such ranking? number 78 in freedom of press with no homelessness. How many of the top 25 countries have citizens deprived of their basic necessity of shelter?

  17. Proud Kuwaiti says:

    I don’t know why you guys are complaining & downplaying this achievement for Kuwaiti newspapers? Grab any Arabic/Middle Eastern newspaper and compare it with a Kuwaiti newspaper and see the obvious difference. Kuwaiti newspapers can print news, interviews, and columns that newspapers in the GCC & Middle East won’t even dare to do. Don’t believe me? Grab Kuwaiti & other MD newspapers and compare. The only real contenders to the Kuwaiti newspapers are the Lebanese ones.

  18. ibnturab says:

    What crack were they smoking. How can they say that kuwait’s press is more liberal than israeli’s ?

    • aaa says:

      Because Israel is jailing half its population in an apartheid state that you aren’t allowed to criticize? Also Israel’s religious extremists are increasingly having more and more say in their politics, they’ve started banning women from speaking at conferences because of them

  19. Mufs says:

    Yup Kuwait and Lebanon should be top. I think there’s more freedom of press in Lebanon that in Kuwait, But nevertheless it’s something to be proud of.

  20. Randy says:

    who cares … lets go smoke shisha!!

  21. A Reader says:

    I’ve said this before , this blog is a favorite among people who like to bitch and whine about how bad their live’s are , how Kuwait is’t Dubai , or Paris or New York , etc. people need to be constructive if they are going to complain . This Blog is turning into the ” Let’s hate on Kuwait” Blog .

  22. LizQ8 says:

    Don’t know about freedom of the press but I do know they aren’t accurate! I’ve been to several places where things were printed and they were either way off with their “facts” or certain people were never mentioned. To give 2 examples:

    There was a crane that tipped over and fell and killed a collegue in front of the school. Pictures were taken of the crane yet in the paper the company’s name was photoshoped and the company was never mentioned in the paper, only the Indian driver that ran away!

    Another time some mixed westerners with Kuwaitis were playing skirmish in the desert. The police came and we explained it was a private game and we were just playing for fun! The police said no problem and left. The papers reported a group USA embassy staff were practice training. No mention of the Kuwaitis who were the people who actually spoke to police!

    Yes they had freedom but it definitely wasn’t accurate!

  23. Loody says:

    actually kuwait isnt the first cause Comoros come in 51 which is an arab country so kuwait is 2nd

  24. Loody says:

    and Mauritania is the 2nd so Kuwait comes third in Arabic country


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