News ID: 96569
Publish Date : 14 November 2021 - 21:14

DUBAI (AP) – Kuwait’s emir issued a long-awaited amnesty decree, pardoning and reducing the sentences of nearly three dozen Kuwaiti dissidents in a move aimed at defusing a major government standoff.
The royal decree, published late Saturday in Kuwait’s official gazette, said Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah had cut the sentences of 11 politicians who had landed in prison for storming the country’s parliament amid the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, as well as pardoning and softening the sentences of 24 others.
As protests swept the region in 2011, scores of Kuwaiti opposition figures and lawmakers forced their way into Kuwait’s parliament building, calling for the removal of the prime minister, whom they accused of corruption. The country’s highest court sentenced several lawmakers to years in prison, including Musallam al-Barrack, a major opposition leader who had also served a two-year sentence on separate charges. Al-Barrack and other dissidents pardoned Saturday had been living in self-exile in Turkey for years.
Also pardoned were members of a group known as the al-Abdali cell.
Photos shared on Kuwaiti social media on Sunday showed families of the inmates crowded outside the country’s Central Prison, embracing their pardoned relatives dressed in white garb.
The amnesty marks a breakthrough in a long-simmering standoff between the emir-appointed government and the parliament, the most empowered legislative body among the desert sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf.
Meanwhile, the Kuwait emir accepted on Sunday the resignation of the country’s government, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said.
The emir instructed the government to act as a caretaker until a new cabinet is formed, the KUNA said.
“The resignation of the prime minister and the ministers is accepted, and each minister will continue in his position until the formation of the new government of Kuwait,” the emir is quoted as saying by the KUNA.
On Nov. 8, the Kuwaiti government submitted resignation to the emir.

* Comment: