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Kuwait

Yearbook 2015

Kuwait. According to COUNTRYAAH, the government continued to work hard for opponents during the year. The Ministry of Information withdrew the publication permit for al-Watan, a leading newspaper that was previously a government-loyal body but which has taken an increasingly critical stance. The decision was appealed, but a court granted the government the right.

2015 Kuwait

In February, an appeals court sentenced opposition leader Musallam al-Barrak to two years in prison for insulting the emir in a speech in 2012, when al-Barrak was a member of parliament and speaking before a large crowd. Al-Barrak was the country's leading opposition representative and had previously been sentenced to five years in prison for the incident, but that ruling was revoked. The new verdict was set by the country's highest court in May. According to human rights organization Amnesty International, al-Barrak was considered a political prisoner.

During the fasting month of Ramadan in June, the country was shaken by a serious act of terror when a suicide bomber exploded in a Shiite Muslim mosque on the outskirts of Kuwait City. The attack claimed 27 lives and injured over 200. A group with links to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization blamed the crime. IS considers Shia Muslims, who are a minority in Kuwait, as apostates. Prosecution was brought in July against a large number of suspected employees. The majority were Kuwaiti or members of Kuwait's stateless population, Bidun, but several Saudis and other foreign nationals were also among the arrested. In September, seven people were sentenced to death for the suicide attack, five of whom were absent. Eight were sentenced to prison for between two and 15 years, while 14 were released.

Kuwait was part of the Saudi-led alliance that launched air strikes against Yemen in March, where the Shiite Muslim movement took control of large parts of the country and fled President Abd al-Rahman Mansur al-Hadi.

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