Kuwait police break up march of hundreds of protesters demanding release of opposition leader

A human rights activist says Kuwait's riot police used batons against hundreds of protesters who were marching for the release of a key opposition leader.

Rights activist Nawaf al-Hendal says the protesters included women and former members of parliament. He says at least a dozen people were arrested in the melee.

The protesters are supporters of former opposition lawmaker Musallam al-Barrack, who was sentenced last month to two years in prison for insulting the country's monarch during a rally in 2012.

They have been holding weekly protests for the past month in Kuwait City's Irada Square, where protests are permitted.

The rally turned violent when the protesters attempted to leave the square and march toward the nearby parliament building Monday night.

The protesters chanted for an end to government corruption.