A prominent Kuwaiti opposition politician was sentenced to five years in jail on Monday for insulting the country's ruler, his lawyer said, Reuters reported.
The court found Musallam al-Barrak, an outspoken former member of parliament, guilty of insulting Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah in a speech in October last year in which he appealed to the emir to avoid "autocratic rule".
Although OPEC member and U.S. ally Kuwait has avoided the kind of mass pro-democracy unrest seen in other Arab countries, tensions have mounted between former parliament members and the government, dominated by the Al-Sabah family.
Barrak's lawyer Mohammed Abdulqader al-Jassem said the defense team was considering filing an appeal against the sentence issued by the criminal court.
Dozens of supporters had gathered at Barrak's family guest house and his followers were considering organizing a march later in the day to protest against the decision, according to activists on Twitter.