Human rights defender Abdullah Fairouz arrested in Kuwait for insulting the judiciary via Twitter

April 15, 2013

On 9 April 2013, the Criminal Investigation Department in Kuwait detained human rights defender Mr Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - croppedAbdullah Fairouz on charges of insulting the judiciary using social media. The Prosecution Office has ordered ten days of detention pending interrogation on the charges. Abdullah Fairouz is a prominent Kuwaiti human rights defender and writer who has worked for several years on the rights of the Bedoun (citizens without identity cards or any prove of their citizenship). The human rights defender is also a member of the Bedoun Committee at the Kuwait Society for Human Rights.  Hours after the disappearance of the human rights defender, it was confirmed that he had been detained at the Criminal Investigation Department after a judge ordered his arrest on accusations of insulting the judiciary by publishing tweets and blog posts. The human rights defender had been criticising the issue of a default judgement against Dr Obaid Al Wasmi and Saud Asfour. The defendants had not been notified of their hearing date and the judgement was issued without their knowledge.  A request to visit the human rights defender by Mr Khalid Al-Hamidi, director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, was rejected by the Criminal Investigation Department without motive.

Front Line Defenders believes that the detention of  Abdullah Fairouz is solely motivated by his peaceful and legitimate human rights work, and views this act as part of an ongoing campaign of judicial harassment against human rights defenders in Kuwait.

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