Kuwaiti police arrest activists for storming Parl
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 20:25
Kuwait City: Kuwaiti police on Wednesday arrested at least one opposition activist over charges of storming the parliament while other activists began surrendering voluntarily, their lawyer said.

"Police arrested youth activist Yussef al-Shatti at Kuwait Airport this morning," coordinator of the opposition defence team Al-Humaidi al-Subaie said.

Subaie said that so far the public prosecutor has issued around 50 arrest warrants against opposition activists who stormed the parliament building last week after a rally and clashes with riot police.

Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah on Sunday described the incident at parliament as a "black day" for the oil-rich Gulf state and said that legal action will be taken against some 40 activists.

Subaie expected that more arrest warrants will be issued against other activists but said that a large number of them have decided to surrender to police whether they are summoned or not.

"Right now, I am heading to surrender to police. They have called me for interrogation although I was not involved in storming parliament," Mohammad al-Bulaihees, a youth leader, said by phone.

"This is a deliberate government policy to arrest opposition youth activists in a bid to silence them," he said. Subaie said that around 100 activists plan to give themselves up to police under a campaign "Arrest us all" launched by the opposition to protest the arrests.

The Kuwaiti opposition has been launching a campaign with the aim to change the prime minister and dissolve parliament following an alleged corruption scandal involving around 15 MPs.

The opposition has also accused Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, of transferring public funds into his overseas bank accounts. The government has denied the charge.

The opposition, which has the support of half of the 50-member parliament, has been holding huge rallies to press their demands. Yesterday, government supporters staged a rally in support of the prime minister.

OPEC member Kuwait sits on about 10 per cent of the global crude oil reserves and currently pumps around 3.0 million barrels per day.


First Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 20:25

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