Kuwait summons Islamist activist over 10-year-old article

AFP , Monday 12 Nov 2012

Hakem al-Mutairi, an Islamist who wrote an article 'undermining' the emir's status ten years ago, was called by Kuwait's public persecution

Kuwait's public prosecution has summoned Islamist activist Hakem al-Mutairi over an article he wrote 10 years ago and deemed to undermine the emir's status, the writer said on Monday.

Mutairi, a former president of the Islamist Ommah Party, said on Twitter that he was called in for interrogation over the article that was first posted in 2003 and then reprinted in the Kuwaiti newspaper Alam Al-Youm in 2007.

"The public prosecution has accused the editor of Alam Al-Youm (Abdulhameed al-Daas) and myself of undermining the status of the emir," said Mutairi, who is a professor of Islamic affairs at Kuwait University.

"Authorities think that through these oppressive measures, they will stop me from challenging tyranny. This didn't work before the Arab Spring, how will it work now?" Mutairi said.

The article covered Mutairi's view that the Arab world needs fundamental change and reform to achieve justice and equality, saying such objectives can be achieved through peaceful protests.

The Islamist Ommah Party was founded in Kuwait in 2005 but the government has not recognised it because political parties are not legal in the Gulf state though many groups operate freely as de facto parties.

The party later established branches in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, with all three very vocal against monarchies in the energy-rich Gulf states.

Kuwait has been clamping down on dissent amid a political crisis that has seen the opposition stage mass rallies against an amendment to the electoral law ahead of December 1 polls.

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