Kuwaiti Riot Police Break Up Rally for Jailed Opposition Leader

Posted October 31st, 2012 at 5:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Riot police in Kuwait on Wednesday used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse thousands of protesters demanding freedom for a jailed opposition leader accused of insulting the emir.

Prosecutors have ordered Musallam al-Barrak held for 10 days while they investigate the charges.

Barrack, a former member of parliament, has been accused of insulting the emir by warning the ruler at an opposition rally two weeks ago against becoming an autocrat.

Kuwaiti authorities have since banned gatherings of more than 20 people as the country prepares for early parliamentary elections on December 1.

The opposition is boycotting the vote. It says the new electoral law favors supporters of emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

The al-Sabah family already controls the Kuwaiti cabinet.