Middle East

Kuwait papers closed for violating 'plot' blackout

The emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah has been Kuwait's emir since 2006

A Kuwaiti judge has ordered the temporary closure of two newspapers for breaking a news blackout about an alleged coup plot.

The independent newspapers, Al Watan and Alam Al Yawm, published details of a videotape said to show former senior officials planning the overthrow of the Gulf state's leadership.

Both papers have been ordered to stop printing for two weeks.

The editor of Al Watan said it would appeal against the suspension.

He told Reuters news agency: "I do not think we talked about the tape more than any other newspaper."

The videotape purportedly contains allegations of a plot to topple the government of the Western-backed emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah.

Reports about the tape have featured extensively in local media since the start of the year, prompting a recent call from the emir's office to stop discussing the topic.

Earlier this month the Kuwaiti prosecutor's office ordered a media blackout of the investigation. Last week MPs discussed the tape behind closed doors.

Kuwait's parliament is one of the few elected bodies in the Gulf.

The country is home to about a dozen daily newspapers, which often include criticism of government ministers including some ruling family members.

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