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Written by HRDs and Journalists
Kuwait- Ongoing detention of peaceful Bedoon activists must end
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) has received information concerning the ongoing detention of four Bedoon human rights defenders. The four are among the 180,000 people in the Bedoon Community in Kuwait who are denied citizenship under strict nationality laws.
Three of the activists namely, Ahmed Al-Timimi, head of Kuwaiti Bedoon committee, Ali Al-Enizi, deputy head of Kuwaiti Bedoon committee, and Yousef Al-Ayethi were arrested following a protest, which took place on 2 October 2012 at Taimaa Square. Approximately 30 Bedoon activists, including 5 minors, were arrested during and after the protest, who have been mostly released recently. (See GCHR appeal dated 6 October 2012 http://gc4hr.org/news/view/256).
The three activists were initially summoned for interrogation and arrested by officials from the Criminal Investigations Department, before being transferred to the Central Jail. On 14 October 2012, Nawaf Al-Bader, Secretary of Kuwaiti Bedoon committee was also summoned for interrogation and arrested.
On 17 October 2012, the Court extended the detention period of all four human rights defenders for ten days on charges of illegal protesting and calling for the Bedoon protest to take place. They have been arrested and detained on previous occasions for their human rights activities.
The human rights defenders have now been detained for over two weeks on baseless charges and it is reported that Ahmed Al-Timimi is suffering from ill health.
The GCHR believes that the arrest of the four activists is directly related to their peaceful human rights activities and their peaceful struggle to ensure that the human rights of the Bedoon community are respected. The GCHR expresses serious concern at the on-going detention of Ahmed Al-Timimi, Ali Al-Enizi, Yousef Al-Ayethi and Nawaf Al-Bader and calls for their immediate release.
The GCHR urges the authorities in Kuwait to:
- To immediately and unconditionally release Ahmed Al-Timimi, Ali Al-Enizi, Yousef Al-Ayethi and Nawaf Al-Bader;
- To drop all charges against Ahmed Al-Timimi, Ali Al-Enizi, Yousef Al-Ayethi and Nawaf Al-Bader
- To guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Ahmed Al-Timimi, Ali Al-Enizi, Yousef Al-Ayethi and Nawaf Al-Bader and ensure that they have access to any medical treatment which may require;
- Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Kuwait are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.
The GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 5(a) “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (a) To meet or assemble peacefully” and to Article 12 (2): “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threat, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”