Social media goes viral over Kuwait protest

June 11, 2014 - 2:34:27 am
Kuwaitis gather at Irada Square, opposite the National Assembly building in Kuwait City, last evening. The opposition called for the rally where it vowed to expose major corruption scams. 

DOHA: The social media across the GCC was abuzz yesterday with the talk of an anti-corruption demonstration in Kuwait convened by a former parliamentarian to divulge details of bank transfers overseas of huge public money by two top officials.

Musallam Al Barrak, true to his word, showed at the massive rally at Al Irada Square in Kuwait city late last evening, documents showing money transfers by some top Kuwaiti officials to bank accounts abroad totalling billions of dollars.

Al Barrak heads a popular political faction in Kuwait called ‘People’s Action Movement’.

Dubbing the scams as ‘Geneva Scandals’, Al Barrak named the two allegedly corrupt officials as ‘Miserable’ and ‘Hopeless’ and said the former had $17.23bn in a foreign bank account in 2013.

His son had a balance of an incredible $10.67bn in his foreign bank account, said Al Barrak. 

The ex-MP showed a document showing transfer of $42m in ‘Miserable’s’ son’s account. The campaigner gave details about money transfers by another top official to his and his son’s account.

The social media all over the GCC went viral, with people from different GCC states commenting on Al Barrak’s anti-corruption rally.

To recall, Al Barrak recently said in a TV interview that no reform was possible in a society without people making sacrifices, and talked of widespread corruption in Kuwait. He talked of two people and alleged that they were involved in massive corruption.

On the social media, people later began pressing Al Barrak to divulge details, so he called a rally yesterday Al Irada Square to give details. Thousands of people gathered in response.

It may also be recalled that the GCC leaders had earlier set up a regional anti-corruption body and its members are heads of anti-corruption agencies of member-states. The body had its first meeting in Kuwait last February and early next year it is slated to meet here in Doha.

People all over the GCC were excited about Al Barrak’s rally. A campaign on Twitter titled ‘#Al Irada Square’ was launched in another GCC country, with a large number of people following it all over the region.

“This is not a campaign restricted to Kuwait. This is a matter close to every GCC citizen’s heart,” said a woman commentator from yet another GCC state, reacting to the Twitter campaign. 

“The echo of Kuwait’s rally is reverberating all over the region. Some may ask why we are supporting the Kuwait rally,” she said. “It is because it is a people’s movement led by a popular leader. We have similar type of corruption in all the GCC countries.”

“If Kuwait succeeds in fighting corruption, for sure the evil would be gone from the entire region,” she added. “We are all for the rally in Al Irada Square.”



Another commentator, taking part in the Twitter campaign, said he wondered why members of the Muslim clergy were silent on the issue of corruption in the GCC.

“People have not gathered in Al Irada for nothing,” said yet another Tweeter. “Corruption is damaging our country and society.” Among the charges Al Barak made is that one of the officials allegedly involved in corruption had a bank account in Israel.

The Peninsula

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