Kuwait: MPs seek amnesty for jailed colleagues after court ruling

Published in GSN, 19 July 2018

The Court of Cassation threw Kuwaiti politics into fresh turmoil on 8 July, by sentencing two current members of the National Assembly and six former MPs to jail terms of three and a half years for storming parliament in 2011.

The two sitting MPs, Waleed Al-Tabtabai and Jamaan Al-Harbash, were reportedly outside the country at the time of the decision, which had been delayed from May (GSN 1,059/5). They are expected to lose their seats, although that will require a vote in parliament first. The former lawmakers who received jail terms included prominent opposition figure Mussallam Al-Barrak, along with Fahad Al-Khannah, Faisal Al-Muslem, Salem Al-Namlan, Khaled Al-Tahous and Mubarak Al-Waalan.

Five other opposition activists were handed the same 42-month sentence, while two others were sentenced to terms of two years. A further 17 people were acquitted by the court, including Islamist MP Mohammed Al-Mutair. This judgement overturned sentences previously handed to the 17 by the Court of Appeal (GSN 1,056/6).

Rulings by the Court of Cassation are final and are thus not open to appeal. A number of those who received sentences have accepted their fate. However, Al-Mutair has been organising discussions on how to protest against the ruling. A group of MPs which includes Al-Mutair, Abdelwahab Al-Babtain, Adel Al-Damkhi, Mohammed Hayef and Shuaib Al-Mowaizri is seeking an amnesty from Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah for all those sentenced to jail terms.