Tuesday, February 05, 2013 11:14 am
Kuwait sentences 3 former MPs for emir insults
The Associated Press
The sentences are part of an escalating backlash from authorities as the oil-rich country faces growing political unrest. Kuwait has the Gulf's most free-wheeling political system and a vibrant press, but denouncing the Western-backed emir is illegal.
The charges against the former parliament members - Falah al-Sawwagh, Bader al-Dahoum and Khaled al-Tahous - stem from speeches made at rallies opposing changes to Kuwait's voting rules.
Defense lawyer Khaled al-Juaisri said he planned to appeal. A statement by Kuwait's information minister, Salman Al Sabah, stressed that the country's judiciary grants fair trials to "all citizens, regardless of their position."
On Sunday, rights groups say a Kuwait court sentenced a Twitter user to five years in prison for a post considered offensive to the emir. Similar sentences have been issued recently in Kuwait and other Gulf countries.