HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday asked the heads of the National Assembly, Cabinet and the judiciary to propose regulations and conditions for pardoning some Kuwaiti convicts, the Amiri Diwan announced. The proposals will pave the way for issuing an Amiri decree to pardon a number of opposition figures and activists who have been sentenced to jail terms for expressing political views deemed to be in violation of the law.

The panel which will propose the pardon rules comprises of National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah and head of the judicial authority Ahmad Al-Ajeel. The Amiri order gave no timeline for the panel to complete its work. The Amiri Diwan said in a statement that the decision was taken after HH the Amir was briefed on the outcome of the national dialogue by the Assembly speaker and the prime minister, and after around 40 MPs signed an appeal to HH the Amir calling on him to pardon the former MPs and activists.

“The Amir has decided to use his constitutional right based on article 75 of the constitution,” which states that the Amir has the right to pardon someone of their penalty or reduce it. Ghanem thanked HH the Amir for his initiatives of calling for national dialogue, backing its outcome and then asking the top panel to set the conditions for the pardon.

Former speaker and prominent opposition leader Ahmad Al-Saadoun also thanked HH the Amir for intending to issue the pardon decree. The Islamic Constitutional Movement welcomed the outcome of the national dialogue that was launched between the government and MPs – including opposition lawmakers – to find solutions for ongoing political disputes.

MPs said on Tuesday that it had been agreed to pardon a number of convicted Kuwaiti activists, including former opposition MPs, who have been living in exile in Turkey since the summer of 2018 to escape jail terms for storming the National Assembly building in 2011.