x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Security sources claims Kuwait orders 45 people detained over protests

The source says that those ordered to be arrested did not include opposition members of parliament who "will be dealt with separately".

KUWAIT // Kuwait's public prosecutor ordered the country's interior ministry yesterday to arrest 45 people accused of involvement in the storming of the parliament building during an anti-government protest last week, a security source said.

Dozens of protesters, including some opposition MPs, forced their way into the assembly on November 15 and hundreds more demonstrated outside, demanding that the prime minister, Sheikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah step down.

"They do not include lawmakers ... The lawmakers will be dealt with separately," the source said.

Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, denounced the storming of parliament as a "black day" and ordered security forces to take "all necessary measures" to maintain public order.

A Kuwaiti newspaper quoted the emir as saying this week that 40 people have been referred to the prosecutor.

For several months, hundreds of people have protested outside parliament each week to demand the removal of Sheikh Nasser, whom they accuse of corruption.

The storming of parliament was a rare reflection of the political ferment that has toppled rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, but has so far had little effect in Kuwait, whose citizens enjoy a generous welfare system and a vibrant parliament, though with limited powers.