Kuwait royals accused of criticizing govt released

Updated 11 November 2012
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Kuwait royals accused of criticizing govt released

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait has released two members of the Al-Sabah ruling family after holding them for two days allegedly over tweets deemed critical of the government, they said on Twitter yesterday.
Sheikh Abdullah Salem Al-Sabah was released late on Friday, while Sheikh Nawaf Malek Al-Sabah was freed yesterday afternoon.
“I asked them (police) to refer me to the public prosecution to defend myself from the horrifying accusations, but they insisted that I sign a pledge and they released me,” late Friday, Sheikh Abdullah said on Twitter.
Sheikh Nawaf’s lawyer Khaled Al-Suwaifan said yesterday that his client was released but provided no details.
Sheikh Abdullah said he was questioned by the secret service police on accusations of insulting Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and instigating against the regime.
He is the grandson of the emir’s half-brother, the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
The two young royals have written tweets sympathetic to the Kuwaiti opposition, which has been organizing protests against an amendment to the electoral law seen as a ploy to produce a pro-government Parliament in a snap December 1 general election.
More than 150 protesters and 24 police have been injured in demonstrations since Oct. 21 and the opposition plans another rally today.
Young royal Sheikh Meshaal Al-Malek Al-Sabah was detained for a few days in July for expressing political views deemed offensive.


Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

Updated 53 min 4 sec ago
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Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Thursday that allegations of fraud in national elections held last week will be investigated, according to a statement from his office.
The electoral list of Moqtada Al-Sadr, a populist Shiite cleric, unexpectedly won the biggest number of seats in the May 12 ballot.
The fraud claims have centered on the city of Kirkuk — although there have been reports of irregularities in multiple provinces — and focused on the tabulation system in electronic voting machines that were used for the first time during the election.
A special committee appointed by the cabinet will investigate the allegations, Abadi’s office said.
Some candidates have also expressed concerns about voter intimidation and reports of chaotic distribution of ID cards, which they claim disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people.
Following several days of complaints — including a call for an investigation by the UN’s senior envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis — the country’s electoral commission said on Monday it had invalidated ballots from 103 polling stations in five provinces.
The investigatory committee, which will include advisers from the security and intelligence sectors, will have access to all documents pertaining to the electoral process, including from the electoral commission.
The commission could not immediately be reached for comment.