Ex-Kuwait MPs decry 'police atrocities' against protesters

AFP , Wednesday 17 Oct 2012

Former Kuwaiti opposition MPs are seeking the help of international human rights organisations through the Kuwait Society for Human Rights

Thirteen former Kuwaiti opposition MPs sought help on Wednesday from international human rights bodies over alleged police atrocities against peaceful protesters.

In an unprecedented move, the former lawmakers filed a complaint with the Kuwait Society for Human Rights that will raise the issue with international rights groups, said one of them, MP Mussallam al-Barrak.

The independent but officially recognised body will transfer the complaint to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Barrak said.

The complaint claims that riot police unnecessarily used batons to beat up young activists who were protesting against an alleged plan by the government to change the electoral system to manipulate results.

Barrak told reporters "riot police commander Ali Madi issued direct orders to his men to beat up activists" without being provoked.

He said the force also arrested four activists and lodged complaints against them at the police station, claiming they assaulted policemen. Earlier, activists said six men were arrested during Monday's protest.

On Tuesday, the interior ministry charged what it called trouble makers and agitators for starting the violence that followed an opposition rally opposite parliament building in the capital.

The ministry said several policemen and protesters were wounded in the clashes, the first in about a year.

The complaint alleged that riot police have repeatedly resorted to the use of force against peaceful protesters since December 2010.

The opposition has rallied several times against what they say could be a plan that could lead to electing a rubber-stamp parliament.

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