Kuwait ex-MPs get suspended jail terms for insulting emir
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait’s supreme court on Sunday handed three former opposition MPs 20-month suspended jail terms for publicly insulting the emir, overturning an acquittal by the appeals court.
The court, whose rulings are final, also ordered Falah Al-Sawwagh, Khaled Al-Tahus and Bader Al-Dahum to pay a bail of 2,000 Kuwaiti dinars ($7,100), according to the verdict.
Last February, the lower court sentenced the lawmakers to three years in jail for making remarks at a public rally in October 2012 deemed offensive to Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
The appeals court scrapped the sentences five months later, saying the men were expressing opinions and had not undermined the emir’s authority. The three ex-MPs had warned at the rally against a planned amendment of Kuwait’s electoral law.
Reacting to the ruling, Dahum wrote on Twitter that the “verdict is political.”
The charges against Sawwagh, Tahus and Dahum marked the start of a government crackdown on dissent that saw dozens of opposition activists charged with insulting the emir.