x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Kuwait youth group's parliament protest day postponed

Fifth Fence group says postponement is because the interior minister, Sheikh Jaber al Khaled al Sabah, stepped down from his post, but critics say move is disappointing and embarrassing.

KUWAIT CITY // A Kuwaiti youth group postponed a protest it had planned to hold in front of parliament yesterday until March 8 but vowed to continue its campaign to seek the government's resignation.

The group, Fifth Fence, said in a statement released on Monday night that the postponement was in reaction to the interior minister, Sheikh Jaber al Khaled al Sabah, stepping down from his post. Mr Sabah had become a focus of Fifth Fence's ire over an investigation into allegations that a Kuwaiti citizen was tortured to death in police custody.

In the statement, Fifth Fence said the government and its supporters had violated the constitution by postponing many regular sessions of parliament.

"We demand the MPs hold the sessions as scheduled," the statement said.

For some, Fifth Fence's announcement was disappointing as the protest had been organised after major demonstrations in North Africa. One Twitter user said the group's excuse was "weak" and their decision was "very disappointing, very embarrassing".

"The Kuwaiti opposition needs a serious lesson in the meaning of democracy," the writer said, adding that protesting is not a political threat, but an essential part of civil society.