Kuwait vows crackdown after violent protests

April 19, 2013 - 2:44:30 am

KUWAIT: Kuwait said yesterday rioting and violence would be met with a firm response after it made several arrests at a protest over the conviction of an opposition politician for insulting the country’s ruler.

Witnesses said police fired teargas on Wednesday to disperse thousands demonstrating against the conviction of former member of parliament Musallam Al Barrak, who was sentenced to five years in jail for the comments last year.

Despite Kuwait saying it was a fair hearing, Monday’s trial has rekindled tension after a period of relative calm following a parliamentary election in December, with supporters staging nightly protests in the OPEC member state. “Any form of riot, violence, instigating of riots and violence or lawlessness would meet (a) resolute and firm response,” the Interior Ministry said on state news agency KUNA.

 

$15mn for Syria’s refugees

Kuwait has donated $15m to the United Nations to help war-torn Syria’s 500,000 Palestinian refugees, the United Nations said yesterday.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, says half of the Palestinian refugees in Syria have been internally displaced by the conflict and that 45,000 have fled to neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan. 

“Kuwait has given UNRWA $15m of its overall pledge of $300m to the UN to help the organisation meet the overwhelming humanitarian needs generated by the crisis in Syria,” UNRWA said. 

“This is one of the largest single donations UNRWA has received for what we are doing in Syria and surrounding countries,” UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi said in the statement.

“With this money we will be able to provide critical assistance, such as emergency accommodation to about 8,000 Palestinians and Syrians in some of our schools,” he said. Syria’s two-year uprising against President Bashar 

Al Assad has left at least 400,000 Palestinian refugees in the country in need of humanitarian aid, UNRWA says. AGENCIES

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