Kuwait Arrests Ex-Minister For Criticising Govt

For critising the government in an opinion article, Saad al-Ajmi, Kuwait's former information minister between 1999-2000, has been arrested. He had earlier been sentenced to a week in jail, but apprehended on Saturday while planning to travel out of the country.
Al-Ajmi, who was with his wife and daughter at the airport while planning to travel for a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, was promptly taking into custody by the police.
Ajmi, a professor at Kuwait University and contributor to several Gulf newspapers, was sentenced Thursday for an article published by the pro-opposition Al-Aan electronic newsletter about two years ago about alleged government corruption.
Similar sentence was handed Zayed al-Zaid, who co-owned Al-Aan with Ajmi, on a complaint by Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh, their lawyer said.
There was no immediate report whether Zaid had also been arrested.
The lawyer said the verdicts were issued in absentia and that neither he nor his clients were informed of the case or the ruling.
The verdict was sent for immediate implementation although such a process normally takes several weeks, he said.
The lawyer said he plans to challenge the ruling on Sunday.
On Tuesday, authorities arrested former liberal MP Saleh al-Mulla for comments on Twitter deemed offensive to the emir and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who visited Kuwait last week.
Mulla has been in detention since then and is due for trial on Sunday.
Kuwaiti courts have sentenced several opposition activists and former lawmakers for remarks deemed insulting to the emir.

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