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Kuwait: Counter Terrorism Legislation Proposed By MP

(Aug. 3, 2017) On July 24, 2017, Waleed Al-Tabtabai, a Kuwaiti Member of Parliament, proposed legislation calling for prison terms for Hezbollah backers. The draft legislation proposes that members and supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah political party who might be active in Kuwait be sentenced upon conviction to up to 20 years’ imprisonment. (Kuwait MP Proposes Jail Terms for Hezbollah Backers, AL-MONITOR (July 24, 2017).)

The draft legislation also proposes that Hezbollah be classified as a “terrorist organization” and that prison terms of up to five years be applied to anyone convicted of displaying a Hezbollah yellow flag or any logos and symbols associated with the group. (Kuwait MP Proposes Jail Terms for Hizballah Supporters, AL ARABY (July 24, 2017).)

The proposed legislation came in the wake of a Kuwaiti Supreme Court decision to uphold the conviction rendered by the Criminal Court of Cassation of a number of Kuwaiti nationals who were found guilty of terrorist acts. The Supreme Court decision was delivered on June 16, 2017.  (Court of Cassation Closes the File of Members of “the Abadi Cell” by Sentencing Them to Life Imprisonment, AL JARIDA (June 18, 2017) (in Arabic).)

The Court of Cassation found the defendants guilty of joining the Lebanese Hezbollah organization and embracing its principles aimed at destroying the basic tenets of the Kuwaiti Constitution. (Id.)  The Court also found that the defendants had committed a number of offenses designed to damage the territorial integrity of the State of Kuwait, including commission of the following acts: the import, storage, and transport of explosive materials, weapons, and ammunition and the receipt of training from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Hezbollah to carry out acts of terrorism against Kuwait.  (Id.)  The Court also convicted the defendants of accepting money from a foreign country (the Islamic Republic of Iran) and those working for its interests for the purpose of committing acts that damaged the national interest of Kuwait.  (Id.)

Prepared by Abdullah Alkayat Alazemi, Law Library intern, under the supervision of George Sadek, Legal Research Analyst.