Kuwait announces trial of 29 in mosque bombing

Kuwait announces trial of 29 in mosque bombing

[JURIST] Kuwait prosecutors announced Tuesday that 29 people will face trial for their participation in the suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque last month, which left 26 people dead and 227 others critically injured. According to the Kuwait News Agency [official website; Kuwait Times report], those facing trial are made up of seven Kuwaitis and thirteen illegal residents — Kuwait’s “Bedoon” community that is largely composed of desert nomads considered stateless by the government. Five Saudis, three Pakistanis, and others whose nationality is so far unknown are also facing trial. The charges range from inciting violence and joining an extremist group to illegal possession of explosives. Two Saudi brothers will be tried with transporting the explosives to Kuwait and handing them to the suicide bomber driver who drove to the mosque. Other suspects have been charged with having prior knowledge of the attack and failing to tell authorities and assisting some criminals with the escape from the authorities and hiding materials used in the crime.

Kuwait has been the subject of several protests and attacks the past several years, including the one mentioned above. In May Kuwait’s Supreme Court upheld the two-year prison [JURIST report] sentence against activist Musallam al-Barrack [Gulf News profile], for insulting Kuwait’s ruler. In March Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported that riot police in Kuwait disbanded protests, arresting 16 protesters [JURIST report] who may be charged with attacking law enforcement officers and illegal gathering. In January Nabil al-Fadhl, a member of the Kuwait parliament, was charged with insulting [JURIST report] the honor of Kuwaiti society and history after making a comment in support of the legalized sale of alcohol.