Kuwait opposition figure Musallam al-Barrack gets nine-year prison term

Kuwait opposition figure released in April gets nine-year jail term
2 min read
27 November, 2017
A leading opposition figure in Kuwait was sentenced to nine more years in jail on Monday after being freed on another conviction in April this year.
The opposition figure was freed from prison in April after serving a two-year sentence. [Getty]

A leading opposition figure in Kuwait was sentenced to nine more years in jail on Monday after being freed on another conviction in April this year.

Kuwait's appeals court handed down the sentence to Musallam al-Barrack and dozens of others, including three current and three former lawmakers.

The case dates back to when Arab Spring protesters stormed Kuwait's parliament in 2011.

A lower court initially acquitted all 70 defendants in 2013.

Monday's ruling handed down sentences ranging from one to five years to more than 50 defendants. The others had their acquittals upheld.

Al-Barrack could not immediately be reached.

The prominent opposition figure was freed from prison in April after serving a two-year sentence for insulting the emir of Kuwait in public, a charge he had denied.

The former lawmaker told thousands of supporters at a rally following his release that the emirate had reached "the lowest point in its modern history".

Between 2011 and 2014, Kuwait witnessed violent street protests led by the opposition, demanding democratic reforms and an elected government.

Under Kuwait's political system, the prime minister has always been a senior member of the ruling family appointed by the emir regardless of the outcome of an election.

Dozens of opposition activists are either in jail or are facing trial for insulting the emir, including via social media.