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Kuwait to defend IPU complaints against it

Kuwait’s parliament speaker lashed out at Israeli Knesset speaker over Israeli policies

Image Credit: KUNA
Al Ghanim (L) arriving in Geneva.
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait Parliament Speaker Marzooq Al Ghanim has pledged to defend his country’s reputation at meetings with Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) officials in Geneva.

“There are complaints against Kuwait lodged with IPU and we will refute them,” Al Ghanim said ahead of his trip with a parliamentary delegation. “There is one complaint from the Israeli Knesset, a second from a Kuwaiti former lawmaker and a third from a Kuwaiti sitting MP. We will of course defend our reputation and the reputation of our parliament and country.”

The Speaker declined to give more details about the cases.

“We are fully confident we can refute all the accusations mentioned in the complaints, and we will provide further details when we come back from the trip to Geneva,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah on Thursday.

Sources said that the Israeli complaint was related to the speech Al Ghanim delivered at the IPU Assembly in St. Petersburg in October when he called on Nachman Shai, Deputy Speaker of Israel’s Knesset, to leave the hall, accusing him of representing a state that sponsored terrorism, an occupier and the murderer of children.

“You should grab your bags and leave this hall as you have witnessed the reaction of every honourable parliament around the world,” Al Ghanim said, addressing the Israeli delegation in front of representatives from more than 150 countries. “Leave now if you have one ounce of dignity, you occupier, you murderer of children.”

The second complaint has been reportedly filed by MP Shuaib Al Muwaizri regarding the imprisonment of Kuwaiti lawmakers which he described as unconstitutional.

Three sitting lawmakers are among 67 people sentenced by the Court of Appeal to terms ranging from one to seven years after they were found guilty of using violence against security men in November 2011 and storming the parliament to demand the resignation of the then prime minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad.

The storming of the parliament, unprecedented in Kuwait’s history, had caused serious consternation in the country and was labelled “The Black Wednesday.”

MPs Waleed Al Tabtabai and Jamaan Al Harbash were sentenced to seven years each while Mohammad Al Mutair was given a one-year jail term.

Former lawmakers Musallam Al Barrak was sentenced to nine years, Mubarak Al Waalan, Salem Al Namlan, Faysal Al Musallam, Khalid Al Tahoos to five years each and Mohammad Al Khalifa to three.

The parliament storming case will be reviewed by the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the country, after all defendants submit their appeal.

The third complaint to the IPU was lodged by former lawmaker Abdul Hameed Dashti who lives outside Kuwait. He was sentenced to 46 years in several cases for insulting Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the judiciary.

Dashti, a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, has been out of Kuwait since 2016 reportedly to receive medical treatment abroad.

His immunity was lifted by the parliament in March 2016 as he was involved in cases related to state security.