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16 jailed for circulating criticisms of Kuwaiti Emir

A Kuwaiti court yesterday sentenced 16 people to two years in prison after they were found re-circulating a speech by an opposition leader which criticised the oil-rich Kingdom's Emir.

The speech was originally given in 2012 by leading opposition figure and former lawmaker Musallam Al-Barrack. In it, he called on Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, not to "drag the country into a dark abyss".

Al-Barrak, a former MP who served between 1996 until 2012, is an outspoken critic of the government. He has accused authorities of a lack of transparency and the monarchy of destabilising the country.

He was arrested on 29 October 2012 on the grounds of insulting and undermining the authority of the Emir and released four days later amid nationwide protests.

He was later sentenced to two years in prison on 22 February 2015.

Some of those sentenced were known to be political activists. All 16 have the right to appeal.

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KuwaitMiddle EastNews
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