Kuwait's Emir issues decrees granting amnesty to several convicted citizens

Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah gave legislative and executive authorities task of drafting framework

Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah (R) and Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al Ghanim. AFP
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Kuwait's Emir has issued two decrees granting amnesty to several citizens living both in the country and abroad who have been convicted of crimes, state news agency Kuna quoted Parliament Speaker Marzouq Al Ghanem as saying.

The clearance for the decrees came in an extraordinary session of the Cabinet on Sunday following an order last month from Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah to legislative and executive authorities to prepare a framework for the amnesty.

The Emir has granted amnesty to certain Kuwaiti convicts, Kuna said, without specifying the number of recipients or for what they had been convicted.

"The number of pardoned prisoners is around 65, including prominent ex-MP Musallam Al Barrak and others," a source close to the matter told The National.

"This is a new era and a blank page," Mr Al Ghanem said. "We should turn now to tackle more important issues," he added.

Musallam Al Barrak, an outspoken former member of Parliament, was convicted along with several other MPs in 2012 of insulting the Emir and violating constitutional laws.

The move comes after a political stand-off between the government and opposition MPs. Forty politicians publicly appealed for the release of political prisoners and dissidents as a major condition to ending the stalemate and passing economic reforms.

“We request your majesty to kindly approve the beginning of a comprehensive national reconciliation by pardoning Kuwaitis convicted for holding certain political opinions or positions,” MP Obaid Al Wasmi told a press conference in October.

He cited the rapidly changing political environment in Kuwait and the region as a reason for pushing for amnesty.

“This is so that these files do not linger and remain an obstacle for creating a stable environment in Kuwait's small society, which is surrounded by major challenges,” he said.

Updated: November 09, 2021, 11:47 AM