Kuwait ends pretrial jail time for freedom of opinion
The government's approval of this law comes as part of its attempt to reduce tension with parliament, which has listed a number of priorities to address.
The most notable issues in parliament at present are forming a comprehensive amnesty law, the prohibition of pre-trial detention in cases of speech, the amendment of the internal regulations in the National Assembly, and the amendment and limitation of the powers of the Constitutional Court.
The country’s opposition boycotted the parliamentary session and rejected the amendments, describing them as an attempt by the government to circumvent key popular demands and create a smokescreen.
Legal experts and professors at Kuwait University’s Law Department said the amendments will not protect freedom of speech, because the law provides for the abolition of the pretrial detention penalty during investigation only.
This means if a defendant is convicted, they will still be punished for voicing their opinion – a fundamental restriction in freedom of speech.