By B Izzak
KUWAIT: The Amiri amnesty decree was published in the official gazette Kuwait Al-Youm on Wednesday, which means it has become effective and the pardoned people can immediately benefit from it. According to the decree, 34 Kuwaiti men and women have been pardoned from jail terms they had been handed for expressing views deemed offensive against HH the Amir or Arab leaders.
A number of the pardoned people are in Kuwaiti jails serving years of prison terms, while the rest have been living in voluntary exile in various countries to escape imprisonment. A number of those who were pardoned confirmed on Twitter they had been granted amnesty. Relatives of Sheikh Athbi Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the former chief of the secret service and a senior member of the ruling family, also confirmed he was among those pardoned. He has been living in exile for several years.
Several MPs and activists praised HH the Amir and welcomed the amnesty decree, which pardoned the second batch of political prisoners. National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun hailed the Amiri decree and expressed hope that other political prisoners will be pardoned soon. The amnesty decree comes at a time when relations between the government and the National Assembly are experiencing some strains over a number of populist draft legislation, including a bill calling on the government to purchase billions of dinars of bank loans owed by Kuwaiti citizens.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Barrak Al-Sheetan said the Cabinet has referred the blueprint of a regulation on the strategic payroll alternative to the Civil Service Council, which has to make a decision on the regulation based on a study by the Civil Service Commission before a final endorsement.