Opposition protesters are seen during a demonstration in Sabhiya Tuesday evening.
Kuwait Special Forces disperse opposition protesters

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 22: Special Forces dispersed opposition protesters at a demonstration in the area of Sabahiya Tuesday evening using tear gas and stun grenades. But the oppositionists were adamant to proceed with their rally and repeatedly re-assembled. Protesters used fire-works against the Special Forces’ grenades. Officers are said to have arrested many protestors.

Opposition activists, including a number of former lawmakers, attempted to rally in the seventh ‘Nation’s Dignity’ march against the one-vote electoral decree. However, unlike the previous march in the Sabah Al-Nasser area on Jan. 13, the protest was confronted.

With orange scarves, banners and flags, protesters shouted slogan reiterating oppositionist demands for what they believe is “a full parliamentary system” and the scrapping of the one-vote election decree and the newly-elected National Assembly.

At the start of the march, security officials warned the protesters that the march was unauthorized and requested the break up of the gathering. When the procession continued from the ‘Marah (Joy) Land’ Garden to the Fahaheel Expressway, Special Forces used stun grenades and tear gas.

However, the oppositionists were adamant to rally and confront security forces and re-assembled at other locations in the area to march on the highway. But they were also chased and halted by security forces that’ve blocked the Fahaheel and entrances to Sabahiya. A number of protesters used fire-works in the face of the Special Forces’ grenades.

The Ministry of Interior had warned that it not allow any unauthorized marches. Two previous marches, on Nov 30 and Dec 8, were given licenses by the MoI and ended on a peaceful note amidst security presence.

The unauthorized sixth ‘Nation’s Dignity’ march was also monitored by security forces without interference, but reportedly a number of participants attacked police and police property after the march ended and arrests were made.

Earlier unlicensed march attempts were also blocked by security forces and tear gar and stun grenades were used to disperse demonstrators.


By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Nihal Sharaf Arab Times Staff

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