|Downtown Kuwait City, 6 July 2014|
7 July 2014
KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday stressed that all people must follow the law in order to protect the state’s constitutional institutions against any violations. He also said that citizens are not allowed to violate the judicial authority, condemning the attack on the country’s judiciary system....
Five nights of clashes have rocked the state after the arrest of prominent opposition leader Musallam Al-Barrak. The public prosecutor on Wednesday detained Barrak for 10 days pending trial on charges of insulting the judiciary and slandering the head of the supreme judicial council, Faisal Al-Marshed. Police have used tear gas and stun grenades against demonstrators, and the Interior Ministry has vowed to deal firmly with unlicensed gatherings. The ministry said police arrested a number of protesters, while opposition activists said around 25 people have been rounded up since Wednesday.
Opposition groups began a protest march later yesterday to the Palace of Justice in Kuwait City to press for the release of Barrak, whose trial is due to begin today. Demonstrators refused repeated appeals by senior police officers not to stage the procession and started to walk from outside the Grand Mosque, chanting slogans calling for “cleansing the judiciary”. After walking about 30 m, riot police in armoured vehicles fired rounds of stun grenades and tear gas at the protesters, who were holding orange flags.
Most of the demonstrators dispersed into the nearby markets of downtown Kuwait City where riot police continued to chase them out of the capital and in order to ensure they do not reach the Palace of Justice. Police had earlier closed down all roads leading to the Grand Mosque forcing protesters to park in remote areas and walk a long distance under sweltering heat coupled with high humidity.
Despite the closure, around 1,000 demonstrators managed to reach the protest area and more people were still coming in when the police intervened. Most of the protesters returned home with the exception of dozens of youth activists who continued to play a cat and mouse game with police.
The opposition earlier held a press conference in which former Assembly speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun insisted that the opposition rallies are peaceful and will continue and called on authorities not to attack them. Meanwhile, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah was interrogated by the public prosecutor for the second time yesterday night.
The Ministry of Interior yesterday warned that it would decisively face all unlicensed rallies and marches in line with legal measures with a view to maintaining national security and stability. The ministry said in a statement it is committed to constitutional and legal constants which govern the general order in the country in line with Islamic sharia and the Kuwaiti people’s ethics. It warned that it would confront all acts of violence, rioting, burning, ransacking and assault on policemen or state and private facilities and properties.
Regrettably, such acts are being committed regardless of appeals and calls for tranquility and reasoning out of keenness for the country’s national interests, it said.
The ministry urged all people to exercise proper conduct. It asked parents of young people who took part in such acts to explain to them the danger of such acts for them and the whole society. The ministry said in a release earlier in the day that in spite of repeated warnings, a group of people held illegal rallies in Sabah Al-Nasser yesterday evening, during which violent acts and rioting took place. The protesters blocked traffic, burned dumpsters and assaulted security forces and attacked public and private properties, it lamented.
The demonstrators also threw Molotov cocktails at the Central Prison, also burning nearby trees before fleeing the scene, said the statement, adding that police were able to arrest some of those involved.
Policemen called on demonstrators at to stop their acts of violence that could pose a danger to families living in the area, but the groups continued to create chaos and threw rocks at the police, the ministry said. It warned it will bring all those involved in the violation of law to justice in order to safeguard Kuwait’s security. – Agencies
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