Kuwait plunges into political turmoil amid crackdown

Friday, October 19, 2012
By Paul Martin

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kuwait plunged into political turmoil on Friday after the public prosecution ordered the detention of three former opposition MPs for three days with more arrests expected.

The three — Falah al-Sawwagh, Bader al-Dahum and Khaled al-Tahus — were questioned for nine hours on accusations of undermining the status of Kuwait’s ruler before being taken into custody around midnight, defence lawyer Mohammad al-Jumaih said.

The prosecutor also extended the detention for three more days of four opposition activists arrested on Monday during clashes between police and protesters following a huge rally.

The move came as hundreds of supporters of the Islamist and nationalist-led opposition and former lawmakers gathered outside the Palace of Justice in the capital, Kuwait City, in solidarity with the ex-MPs and activists.

Breaking decades-old taboos, speakers directly addressed Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, warning him that any amendment to the electoral law could lead to street protests and chaos.

They also warned Kuwait was becoming an autocratic state, and insisted they would oppose that.

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