Kuwait police free royals after questioning

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(AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes)

(AFP/Getty Images - for illustrative purposes)

Kuwait has released two members of its ruling Al Sabah family after holding them for two days on allegations of criticising the government.

Sheikh Abdullah Salem Al Sabah and Sheikh Nawaf Malek Al Sabah were freed on Friday and Saturday, respectively, after being questioned by police for insulting the Emir and instigating against the regime, AFP reported.

“I asked them (the police) to refer me to the public prosecution to defend myself from the horrifying accusations, but they insisted that I sign a pledge and they released me,” Sheikh Abdullah said on Twitter.

Sheikh Abdullah is the grandson of the emir’s half-brother, the late Sheikh Abdullah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

The two royals had written tweets sympathetic to the Kuwaiti opposition, which has been organising protests against a proposed amendment to the Gulf state’s electoral law that could reduce opposition representation within parliament.

Since mid-October security forces in the oil-rich nation have used tear gas and stun grenades to break up three large demonstrations against the amendment.

Kuwait’s opposition groups on Sunday will defy the protest ban by holding another mass rally as the country celebrates the 50th anniversary of its constitution.

Opposition groups say they will also boycott parliamentary elections scheduled for December 1. That vote comes following the dissolution of the parliament in early October, another reason for political discontent in Kuwait.

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