Kuwait revokes citizenship of opposition activists

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Kuwaiti government revokes the citizenship of several members of the opposition amid a government review to tighten national security

Kuwaiti police during protest in support of opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak on 7 July (AFP)
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Thursday 12 February 2015 17:45 UTC
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Kuwait revoked the citizenship of the owner of a pro-opposition satellite television channel and a daily newspaper on Monday.

Several other people were also stripped of their citizenship in an apparent crackdown on dissent.

The government, in a statement released after the weekly cabinet meeting, said it was revoking the citizenship of Ahmad Jabr al-Shemmari, owner of Al-Youm television and Alam Al-Youm newspaper, and all his family members.

It also revoked the citizenship of a former Islamist opposition MP, Abdullah al-Barghash, two of his brothers and his sister.

The measures come a week after the government ordered the Interior Ministry to review the citizenship of people who posed a threat to national security.

The cabinet was also informed that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour had closed down "scores of offices and branches" of non-profit organisations, including Islamic charities.

The official statement provided no details as to which organisations were affected.

Riot police earlier this month clashed with demonstrators protesting over the arrest of prominent opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak for allegedly insulting the judiciary.

Several people were hurt in the clash and about 50 others arrested, most of whom have already been granted bail.

Since mid-2006, the oil-rich Gulf state has been rocked by a series of political crises, leading to its parliament being dissolved six times.

Most opposition groups are not represented in Kuwait's parliament, after they boycotted the July 2013 polls in protest over an amended electoral law.