Authorities continue to target human rights defenders who took part in four sit-ins organised in front of the Central Apparatus for Illegal Residents’ Affairs.
Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and Hamid Jameel were summoned by Kuwait’s Electronic and Cyber Crime Combatting Department (ECCCD) for their peaceful activities on the internet.
The overly broad 2015 DNA law had required all Kuwaiti citizens, residents, and visitors to provide DNA samples to authorities, in violation of their right to personal privacy.
Prominent human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli is still being held at the Central Prison in Kuwait and risks facing deportation from the country, according to reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR).
In Kuwait, no one is immune from legal prosecution when criticizing the Emir and the ruling family.
On 18 April 2016, Kuwaiti security forces arrested Bedoon human rights activist Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli. Human rights defender Rana Al-Sadoun, who was arrested two days previously, has since been released from prison on bail.
Eleven regional and international civil society groups have penned a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama urging him to press for the release of all detained rights defenders across the Gulf region who are imprisoned solely due to their peaceful and legitimate human rights work.
On March 29, Kuwait’s parliament voted to strip Member of Parliament, and human rights defender, Abdulhamid Dashti of his parliamentary immunity over comments he made against Saudi Arabia, and in support of Syrian President al-Assad.
The new legislation contains 21 articles which seek to regulate a number of online activities in Kuwait. There is particular concern that the new law, especially articles 4, 6 and 7, could be used to limit freedom of expression on the Internet, as well as to target online activists including bloggers and citizen journalists.
Articles 6 and 7 of the new law expand the reach of existing prohibitions on print publications to virtually all dissemination of information through the Internet, including online journalism and private use of social media and blogs.
Kuwait’s Court of Cassation on June 12, 2015, upheld a six-year sentence for blogger Saleh al-Saeed for tweets criticizing Saudi Arabia.
Eleven of the protesters were released on March 25 and are expected to face charges of illegal gathering. Five remain in custody and may face charges of attacking law enforcement offices in addition to the illegal gathering charges.
Saleh al-Mulla was charged with insulting the Emir, insulting a foreign leader, and endangering bilateral relations over critical tweets he sent before an official visit by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt.
The Kuwaiti Court of Cassation sentenced activist Saqr Al-Hashash to one year and eight months in prison for insulting the Emir through tweets he posted on his personal Twitter account.