Kuwait Rejects Government Bid, Saudi Protesters Arrested
Kuwait’s top civilian court today rejected a government bid to alter voting boundaries. The decision forces the ruling family to move ahead with parliamentary elections using a voting district map that appears to favor the opposition. Disagreement between the ruling family and opposition forces have deadlocked the country’s politics and development plan in recent years. ”The verdict may in the end mean that the country will go into further political conflict,” said Shafeeq Ghabra, former president of the American University in Kuwait.
Meanwhile, security forces detained protesters near a prison in central Saudi Arabia. Authorities claim the protesters’ relatives are being held for security reasons, but activists say many are held purely for political activity. In a separate gathering Monday, dozens of protesters rallied in front of the government-linked Saudi Human Rights Commission calling for the release of jailed relatives. “There are some prisoners who have been tortured, some who have completed their sentences, others who have not been charged and even some who have been found innocent but are still imprisoned. We will stay here until we are heard,” said one protester who declined to be named.