Last Update 14:40
Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Kuwait jails opposition leader for insulting ruler

AFP , Sunday 22 Feb 2015
Mussallam al-Barrak
Mussallam al-Barrak (File Photo : Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 887
Share/Bookmark
Views: 887

Kuwait's appeals court sentenced prominent opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak to two years in jail on Sunday on charges of insulting the Gulf state's ruler, his group said.

The charges relate to a speech he gave to tens of thousands of demonstrators in October 2012 protesting changes to the electoral law which he said would allow the ruling Al-Sabah family to manipulate the outcome of elections.

Barrak was a member of parliament at the time but his nationalist Popular Action Movement boycotted December 2012 and July 2013 polls held under the new electoral law.

"The appeals court passed a two-year sentence on Barrak," PAM said on its Twitter account.

It quoted its leader as vowing that the campaign for reform in the oil-rich emirate would go on.

"You can jail my body but not my ideas and will," he said.

The appeals court tried Barrak after quashing a five-year jail term handed down by a lower court in April 2013 on the same charges of insulting emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

That judgement sparked angry protests by opposition activists, several of whom were wounded when police responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

In July last year, there were further demonstrations when Barrak was detained for five days on separate charges of insulting the judiciary.

Since the mass protests of 2012, Kuwaiti authorities have cracked down on the opposition, handing down heavy jail terms and even revoking the citizenship of PAM spokesman Saad al-Ajmi last September.

The crackdown has been condemned by human rights groups, who have called for changes to the law to prevent people being jailed for exercising free speech.

Article 25 of Kuwait's 1970 penal code provides for jail terms of up to five years for anyone who publicly "objects to the rights and authorities of the emir or faults him."

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.