The Straits Times
Published on Oct 24, 2012

US chides Kuwait in wake of protest clashes


WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States issued a veiled criticism of its ally Kuwait after 100 protesters were hurt in weekend clashes with police, defending the "universal right" to freedom of assembly.

On Sunday, riot police used rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades and beat up hundreds of demonstrators to break up the protest, which the Kuwaiti opposition described as the largest demonstration in the oil-rich Gulf state's history.

They had called the demonstration to protest against a decision by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah to amend the electoral law. Activists claim the change is aimed at electing a rubber-stamp parliament.

The Islamist and nationalist-led opposition, which says that more than 100,000 people took part in the protest, has pledged to boycott snap parliamentary polls slated for December 1.