[JURIST] A Kuwait court on Tuesday sentenced seven to death for their participation in the bombing of a Shiite mosque in June, which left 26 people dead and 227 others critically injured. Five of the men were sentenced in absentia [AFP report] as they remain fugitives. One of the men sentenced, Fahad Farraj Muhareb, was identified by the court as a local branch leader of the Islamic State (IS), which claimed responsibility for the attack. Another man, Abdulrahman Sabah Saud, claimed that while he drove the suicide bomber to the mosque, he was told that no worshipers would be harmed in the attack. Out of 29 people tried for a connection to the attack, 14 were acquitted, while eight, including five women, were sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to 15 years. The death sentences have been criticized [AI report] by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website], which called them a “misguided response” and “not the way to tackle terror.”
Kuwait has been the subject of several protests and attacks the past several years. In July Kuwait prosecutors announced that 29 people would face trial [JURIST report] for their participation in the suicide bombing of the Shiite mosque in June. 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.