Kuwait Amir pardons jailed opposition members

The Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah pardoned on Tuesday all those who have been sentenced to jail for insulting him.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 31 Jul 2013, 1:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:47 PM

“On the occasion of the last 10 days of (the Muslim fasting month of) Ramadan, I am pleased to issue an Emiri pardon for those who have been handed jail terms on charges of insulting the Emir,” he announced in a televised speech.

Several opposition members have been jailed and dozens more are on trial on charges of undermining Shaikh Sabah’s authority and insulting him.

Currently, there are at least three youth opposition activists serving various jail terms on charges of insulting the Emir.

A number of other activists and former opposition lawmakers are on trial for similar charges following a government clampdown on dissent that began in October. They include two women, one sentenced to 11 years and the other for 20 months for insulting the Emir.

It was unclear whether the pardon applied to all or only to those in jail.

Criticising the Emir is a felony that can carry a jail sentence of up to five years.

The Emir’s action came a few days after parliamentary election that was boycotted by the main opposition groups in protest against an amendment to the electoral law even though the constitutional court upheld the change in June.

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