Kuwaiti MP faces jail sentence for criticizing Saudi Arabia

Published June 19th, 2016 - 06:00 GMT
The Saudi embassy in Kuwait filed a lawsuit against Kuwaiti MP Abdulhameed Dashti for criticizing Saudi Arabia's involvement in Bahrain and Yemen. (AFP/File)
The Saudi embassy in Kuwait filed a lawsuit against Kuwaiti MP Abdulhameed Dashti for criticizing Saudi Arabia's involvement in Bahrain and Yemen. (AFP/File)

An outspoken member of the Kuwaiti parliament (National Assembly) known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia’s military involvement in countries such as Yemen and Bahrain has been sentenced to jail.

Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas said on Saturday that Abdulhameed Dashti was sentenced to 10 days of detention pending investigations of a lawsuit filed against him by the Saudi Embassy in Kuwait for his alleged defamation of the regime in Riyadh.

The daily said the verdict was of a preliminary nature and that Dashti could face a much lengthier imprisonment sentence as his case will be referred to Kuwait’s top criminal court.

Dashti became known in Kuwait for his open criticism of the crackdown in Bahrain while he has lashed out at Saudi Arabia for its assistance to the government in Manama. More than a hundred have been killed and hundreds more remain behind bars in Bahrain since an uprising began in the small Persian Gulf Arab country in early 2011.

A court in Bahrain has sentenced Dashti to two years of imprisonment in absentia for illegal fundraising.

The outspoken lawmaker has also criticized the Saudi regime for its involvement in Yemen, where the Saudi military campaign has left at least 6,500 people dead since it began in March 2015.

Kuwait’s National Assembly revoked Dashti’s parliamentary immunity last March.

He has reportedly been traveling for the past years between Syria and Switzerland in a bid to evade an international arrest warrant issued against him in Kuwait.

Kuwait, a small country of more than four million on the Persian Gulf, is a close ally of Saudi Arabia.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the source material.


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