Kuwaiti court jails stateless activist for 5 years

KUWAIT CITY (AA) – A Kuwaiti court on Sunday sentenced a stateless man to five years in prison with hard labor after convicting him of insulting Kuwait's Emir, vandalizing police cars and participating in a protest, a judicial source has said.

The source added that the court also ordered the deportation of the man, who is called Abdullah Atallah.

In February of 2014, scores of stateless residents staged protests for five consecutive days against the Kuwaiti government's failure to legally solve their nationality problem.

The protests opened the door for violent clashes with policemen, who used teargas and stun grenades to disperse the protesters. The protesters hurled rocks at policemen.

On Sunday, the same court ordered the release of 33 other stateless residents who were accused of illegal assembly in the same case.

Sunday's verdicts can be appealed at a higher court, the judicial source said.

Atallah has been a leading lobbyist for the rights of Kuwait's stateless residents. The verdict against him is the second against a stateless resident in less than a week.

A few days ago, another stateless activist was sentenced to one year in prison with hard labor after being convicted of illegal assembly during the same events.

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