Kuwait opposition group calls for sit-in after arrests

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 16, 2012 6:13 AM
Kuwait opposition group calls for sit-in after arrests

KUWAIT (Reuters) - One of Kuwait's main opposition groups called for a sit-in outside parliament on Tuesday, in an escalation of political tensions after police arrested protesters at a large anti-government rally.

Kuwaiti security forces detained at least five people, including the son of a prominent opposition figure, at a protest late on Monday over possible changes to an election law.

"The National Front for the Protection of the Constitution calls on citizens to attend a sit-in in Erada Square at 6 p.m. (1100 EDT) in solidarity with the young detainees," activist Ahmad al-Deyain wrote in an SMS message to journalists.

Several people were hurt in skirmishes at the rally in the square, attended by at least 5,000 people who defied a request by authorities to cancel the demonstration.

Kuwait's dissolved parliament last week and opposition figures say they fear the government will try to push through legislation before upcoming elections, including voting rules that could favor pro-government candidates in the polls.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)