Kuwait’s Emir grants pardons and reduced sentences to dissidents

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah issued two decrees giving pardons and reducing sentences for 35 dissidents.

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On Saturday, Kuwait’s Emir signed two decrees giving pardons and reducing sentences for 35 dissidents, fulfilling a key demand of opposition lawmakers who have been stuck in a months-long confrontation with the government, according to Reuters.

In October, Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah opened the way for an amnesty for lawmakers and former MPs, which the opposition has made a condition to overcome a political standoff that has blocked the affluent Gulf state’s planned budgetary reforms.

The decision, which was published in the Official Bulletin, overturned prison sentences handed down to 11 parliamentarians, including Musallam al-Barrak, Jamaan al-Harbesh, and Faisal al-Muslim, for storming the parliament building during the Arab Spring demonstrations in 2011.

Since leaving Kuwait, the dissidents have been living in self-imposed exile in Turkey, accusing the government of corruption and inefficiency.

Members of the so-called “Abdali Cell,” which was disbanded in 2015, were also pardoned by the Emir for espionage for Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Kuwait’s administration presented its resignation to the Emir on Monday, as officials attempt to resolve conflicts with the parliament that have hindered economic reforms and stressed the state’s finances in the face of low oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah accepted on Sunday the resignation of the government according to state news agency.

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