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Nafisi acquitted, Saudi embassy sues MP Dashti

KUWAIT: In a series of court decisions, the court of cassation yesterday upheld the acquittal of Islamist academic and activist Abdullah Al-Nafisi from charges of insulting Shiites. Nafisi, a former MP, was charged with insulting Shiites under the national unity law, which stipulates several years of imprisonment for those convicted. He was accused of committing the crime at a lecture he addressed last year about Iran’s ambitions in the Gulf region.

In another case, the misdemeanors court set Oct 4 as the date to issue its ruling against liberal former MP Saleh Al-Mulla for allegedly insulting Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi and undermining the authorities of HH the Amir. Mulla wrote several tweets objecting to Kuwait giving more funds to Egypt ahead and during a two-day visit by Sisi to Kuwait a few months ago. The former lawmaker was detained for five days before he was released on bail.

The embassy of Saudi Arabia meanwhile filed a lawsuit against Shiite MP Abdulhameed Dashti for allegedly insulting the kingdom during an interview with a television station owned by Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah. This is the second case filed by the Saudi Arabian mission against Dashti, who was accused in the first case of insulting the kingdom and the Saudi monarch. During the television interview, Dashti strongly lashed out at the Saudi-led Gulf airstrikes against the Shiite Houthi militia in Yemen.

In another development, the Assembly will launch today a three-day debate on the proposed amendments to the press and publications and the audiovisual laws, besides the new draft electronic media law. Head of the educational committee in the Assembly Awdah Al- Awdah said the proposed amendments aim to ensure more freedom for the media in the country. The first day will be devoted to the electronic media draft law which consists of 27 articles and aims to regulate online media. Experts will discuss on the second and third days proposed amendments to the two existing media laws, Awdah said. But MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan strongly criticized the Assembly’s educational committee for ignoring amendments he had proposed to the media laws, saying that the committee took the government proposals only. He said the committee wants to provide legal cover to the government’s amendments, claiming that it has committed a constitutional violation by not including his proposals.

By B Izzak

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This article was published on 26/04/2015