Kuwait. According to Countryaah.com, Kuwait population in 2020 is estimated at 4,270,582. The power struggle within the ruling royal family that led to the dissolution of the parliament and the reformation of the government countless times in recent years was spearheaded during the spring, when allegations of dome plans emerged. A senior member of the royal family turned to court with what were said to be video recordings that revealed how other family members planned to overthrow the government.
The Prosecutor’s Office issued a ban on discussing the coup plans publicly. Two magazines and a TV channel that reported on it were forced to shut down for two weeks in April. The newspapers, al-Watan and al-Youm, were closed again in June.
Opposition leader Musallam al-Barrak was arrested in July after accusations of insulting the judiciary. In connection with a demonstration, the former MP had claimed that former government officials, including members of the ruling family, had stolen tens of billions of dollars from the Treasury and pledged money laundering. The arrest triggered several days of violent protests. Al-Barrak was released on bail after ten days.
There were more signs of unusually harsh grip on government critics during the year. The magazine al-Youm and TV station Alam al-Youm got their licenses revoked with immediate effect in July. Both had reported on the opposition’s actions more than other media. Several tens of people had their citizenship withdrawn. The authorities referred to false documents or dual citizenship, but human rights organizations argued that the reason was often political. The courts also continued to sentence multi-year imprisonment against online activists for crimes such as insult to Prophet Muhammad, the emir, judges, Shia Muslims or neighboring countries.
In November, the Ministry of the Interior stated that tens of thousands of stateless, so-called bidons, could seek citizenship in the Comoros. Thereafter, they could be granted a residence permit in Kuwait as well as the right to free education and health care. The human rights organization Amnesty International criticized the proposal and called it “shameful”. Bidunas are mostly Arabs who came to Kuwait from other countries in the 1950s and 1960s or their descendants.