Last updated: 21 August, 2011

Kuwait detains MP over threats to Syrian envoy

Kuwait’s public prosecution Sunday freed Islamist MP Mohammad Hayef after detaining him for one day for questioning over alleged threats to the Syrian ambassador, his lawyer said.

Hayef was detained after he initially refused to pay a 2,000-dinar ($7,350) bail “but later he agreed and paid the bail and was freed,” lawyer Adel Abdulhadi told AFP.

Hayef was summoned for interrogation after telling crowds at a rally against the Syrian regime two weeks ago that they should seek a fatwa, or a religious ruling, to establish if the Syrian ambassador can be killed.

Prosecutors questioned Hayef on accusations that he threatened the life of the Syrian envoy and for making remarks harmful to Kuwait’s interests, Abdulhadi told AFP. The lawmaker denied the charges.

Abdulhadi said that a crowd of around 300 supporters of Hayef gathered at the police centre where Hayef is held and demanded his immediate release.

Under Kuwaiti law, MPs enjoy immunity that shields them against arrest or questioning as long as parliament is in session, but the house is currently in summer recess until late October.

Kuwaitis held a number of rallies in support of pro-democracy protests in Syria and called for the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador from the oil-rich Gulf state.