Three Kuwaiti ex-MPs' jail terms for insulting Emir reinstated

An appeals court had overturned the original 3yr sentences, saying the men were expressing opinions

Three former Kuwaiti opposition MPs have been handed suspended jail terms for publicly insulting the Emir, AFP has reported.

Falah Al Sawwagh, Khaled Al Tahus and Bader Al Dahum had had their original three-year jail terms overturned on appeal, but on Sunday the Supreme Court reinstated the sentences, reducing them to 20 months and suspending them.

They were also ordered to pay fines of KD2000 ($7100).

The men were charged for making remarks at a public rally in October 2012 that were deemed offensive to Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah. They had warned against a planned amendment of Kuwait’s electoral law.

The appeals court that scrapped the sentences said the men had expressed opinions and had not undermined the emir’s authority.

But the Supreme Court – whose decision is final – disagreed.

Dahum wrote on Twitter that the “verdict is political”.

The charges against Sawwagh, Tahus and Dahum marked the start of a government crackdown on dissent that saw dozens of opposition activists charged with insulting the emir, AFP said.

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