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
"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
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.