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Kuwait allows Al Jazeera to resume local operations

Al Jazeera is re-opening its Kuwait office a year after authorities in the Gulf state ordered its closure, reports.

“We received the official clearance to operate normally on Wednesday,25 January” said Mr.Saad al-Saeedi, Al Jazeera’s Kuwait director.

According to the Qatar-based satellite broadcaster, Al Jazeera’s Kuwait operations were shut down in December 2010 after the news channel covered a crackdown by authorities on an opposition gathering, showing police brutality against a number of the state’s MPs.

The move comes a week before Kuwait holds parliamentary elections.

The Minister of Information Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali said last month the decision to reopen the Al Jazeera office stems from the authority’s responsiveness to the importance of media in the Gulf region.

Sheikh Al-Ali added that in an election year there is a need for transparent, credible and neutral coverage, though he stressed the need for responsible practice by the media, according to Arab Times Online.

Kuwait’s official TV and radio stations will provide a level playing field for all parliamentary candidates to present their agenda to the electorate, the minister also reportedly told Al-Jazeera in December.