Kuwaiti opposition politicians arrested after rally

October 18, 2012 18:39

KUWAIT - Kuwaiti authorities arrested two opposition politicians on Thursday and interrogated a third after they made comments seen as criticizing the country's ruler, an interior ministry official said.

The former members of parliament spoke at an opposition-led rally of about 5,000 people on Monday where Kuwaitis later clashed with riot police.

With the uprisings which have swept through much of the Arab world aggravating tensions between the elected parliament and a government dominated by the Al-Sabah ruling family, oil-rich Kuwait has been sensitive towards dissent.

Former lawmakers Bader al-Dahum and Falah al-Sawwagh were taken into police custody, the official said. Khaled al-Tahus, also a former MP, was summoned for questioning by the prosecution service.

The three politicians had also spoken at other opposition gatherings before the demonstration over voting rules to be used in a parliamentary election expected later this year. It was not immediately clear which remarks were deemed illegal.

Although Kuwait allows more freedom of speech than some of its fellow Gulf states, the emir is seen as untouchable and is referred to as "immune and inviolable" in the constitution.

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