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Prominent Kuwait newspaper that defied gag order closed

January 20, 2015

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — Prominent Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Watan says officials have revoked its operating license and ordered it shut down.

The newspaper said on its website Tuesday that the Commerce Ministry ordered the closure because the publishing house behind the paper failed to meet corporate requirements set by the ministry.

Al-Watan and another newspaper were temporarily suspended from publishing last April for defying a prosecutor-ordered media blackout of a secret probe into allegations of a coup plot to overthrow the Gulf monarchy’s government.

Editor-in-chief Sheikh Khalifa Ali Al Sabah says he believes the latest closure order is related to the decision to report on the alleged coup plot. He and his father, the paper’s owner, are members of Kuwait’s ruling family.

Deputy editor Waleed al-Jassim said the publishing house will appeal the closure order.

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