Middle East

Kuwait Shiite lawmaker sentenced to jail for Saudi 'insults'

A lawyer in Kuwait says a criminal court there has sentenced an outspoken Shiite lawmaker to more than 14 years prison for insulting the governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Duaim al-Mouaizri, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit against parliament member Abudlhamid Dashti, told The Associated Press Wednesday that the lawmaker was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison for insulting the Saudi royal family, criticizing religion and insulting the judiciary. He was sentenced to an additional three years prison for insulting the Bahraini government.

Dashti, whose parliamentary immunity was stripped earlier this year, was tried in absentia.

He had criticized the Saudi leadership's policy of supporting Sunni groups in Syria in television interviews and had spoken out on social media in support of Shiite-led protests in Bahrain.