Security officials stand outside the diwaniya of Nasser Al-Abdali in Omariya during a seminar held indoors Thursday evening
Indoor ‘Democracy’ seminar held ... in peace ‘Assault unprecedented’

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 16: The assault on Kuwait University Law Professor Dr Obaid Al-Wasmi is an unprecedented incident in the country, which did not witness anything like this during the tenure of the previous governments, says Chairman of the Kuwait Society for Developing Democracy Nasser Al-Abdali.

Speaking at a seminar he organized Thursday at his diwaniya in Omariya, Al-Abdali asserted Kuwait is a tolerant nation but the incumbent government has divided it into rival blocs, which might push the whole country towards civil war due to the persistence of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to hold on to his seat, irrespective of the common good. 
Al-Abdali also confirmed that the seminars in solidarity with Al-Wasmi will continue every Thursday until his release.

A large number of people attended the seminar, including political activist Ahmad Al-Dayeen and Nation Party representative Saif Al-Hajeri. 

Meanwhile, Al-Dayeen said Al-Wasmi became a symbol of freedom and democracy after the security offers took him from the diwaniya of MP Jamaan Al-Harbash.

When Al-Dayeen mentioned the seminar at the diwaniya of former MP Abdullah Al-Nibari and the professor’s name, all the participants stood up to honor him and the Al-Mutair Tribe.
Al-Dayeen pointed out the entire Kuwait nation should be proud of their hero. He stressed the Constitution is the reference of all authorities, since it clearly defines the functions and powers of each entity, while banning the presence of security officers in public gatherings. He added the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to hold public gatherings - a right also stipulated in a law enacted in 1963. He went on to explain that a decree was issued in 1979 allowing seminars or meetings inside and in front of the diwaniyas, indicating the decree clearly defined the term ‘diwaniya’ and the garden is usually an extension of the diwaniya, so this meeting is legal.

Pointing out there are individuals bent on misleading the public that democracy is only about elections, not freedom, justice and equality, Al-Dayeen contended, “The regime of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had elections but look at what happened to the nation under his rule.” He wondered where was the Constitution the government has been talking about when the security officers dragged Al-Wasmi from the diwaniya of Al-Harbash and beat him in front of the participants just because he expressed his point of view on the Constitution.     

Stating the government had earlier approved a law to restrict the freedom of publication and impose censorship but it was cancelled in 1992, immediately after the Liberation War, Al-Dayeen lamented the law was reactivated recently to curtail press freedom.

Al-Dayeen said Article 38 of the Constitution stipulates the need to protect the sanctity of houses and bans forced entry into these dwelling units but the contrary happened at the diwaniya of Al-Harbash. He believes the Dec 8 incident is a clear manifestation of the worsening situation in the Kuwaiti society. “They have been comparing us with other countries in a desperate attempt to push us towards the path of oppressive nations,” he concluded.

On the other hand, Al-Hajeri warned the recent incidents may lead the country into a dark tunnel. Nevertheless, he sees a glimmer of hope in the sacrifice made by honest people like Al-Wasmi as they are keen on demanding more freedom for the people to ascertain justice for all.

Al-Hajeri affirmed the Nation Party has outrightly rejected the unreasonable arrest of some citizens, adding the Constitution is merely ink on paper due to the failure of the concerned authorities to implement its articles properly.

Asserting that the country is currently experiencing a political crisis, not constitutional , Al-Hajeri called on all the parties to strictly comply with the Constitution. He asked, “How can the nation be a source of authority when it lacks the ability to form an efficient government or steer clear of a Parliament, which has been trapped in a web of controversies, including allegations of fraud and misappropriation of public funds?” He also proposed the drafting of new Constitution that can truly guarantee the people’s freedom. 

By: Fahad Al-Fahaiman

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