A group of former opposition parliamentarians is accusing the Kuwaiti government of acting illegally as it revokes the citizenship of government opponents and shuts down media outlets.

The group issued a statement on 24 July saying that the government’s campaign was “unconstitutional” and an act of “political vengeance”.

On 21 July, the government revoked the citizenship of five high-profile opposition figures including former MP Abdullah al-Barghash and Ahmad al-Shemmeri, owner of the independent Al-Youm television station and the Alam Al-Yawm newspaper.

Licenses for the two media outlets were revoked a day later.

In its statement the group said the crackdown violates human rights and is “a serious breach of international human rights treaties”. It also said the main aim of the crackdown was to prevent the corruption of senior officials being exposed.

Kuwait’s Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak al-Sabah and former oil minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah filed two separate lawsuits to the attorney-general on 14 July demanding an investigation into allegations of a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal.

Members of the opposition have accused top judges of being implicated in the embezzlement of tens of billions of dollars. The accusations have caused mass protests against the government and saw opposition leader Mussallam al-Barrak briefly imprisoned on 2 July after he gave a speech at a rally.

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