07/09/2018, 10.00
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Kuwait Supreme Court condemns opposition MPs and activists

The defendants guilty of assaulting Parliament in November 2011, during the Arab Spring uprisings. 42 months in prison for two opposition MPs and six other former MPs. The defendants will not be able to hold public offices in the future. The trial among the most followed and publicized in the country.

Kuwait City (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Kuwait’s Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the Arab country, yesterday sentenced two opposition MPs still in office and six other former MPs to 42-month prison. The judges found the defendants guilty of assaulting Parliament and attacking the police in November 2011, in the context of the Arab Spring plots. The Supreme Court has also condemned five opposition activists for the same crimes.

The nighttime assault on the Parliament in November 2011 was part of the protests against the then Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al-Sabah, accused by opponents of corruption and bribes for millions of dollars.

At that time, a thousand people stormed the building in the capital city of Kuwait City, breaking through the doors and occupying the main hall for a few minutes. Following the protests, the then head of government - a member of the Al-Sabah family, in power in the country - decided to resign.

Another former MP and two activists were sentenced to two years in prison. 17 other people were acquitted. A part of the defendants was sentenced in absentia. Finally, the judges recognized 34 other activists for assault in Parliament as guilty, but no prison sentences were issued.

Analysts and experts define the process that has just ended among the most famous and publicized in the history of the country. Among the condemned the names of former parliamentarian Mussallam al-Barrak and of current deputies Waleed al-Tabtabai and Jamaan al-Harbash stand out. Barrak was released from prison in April 2017 after serving two years in prison for insulting Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

Those sentenced will no longer be able to hold public offices in the future.

The parliament of the oil-rich Gulf nation of Kuwait has been dissolved at least seven times since 2006 due to internal strife and clashes between government and opposition.

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