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Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

    (Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
News

Unsanitary Cells Prime Condition for Spreading Virus Outside Walls

(New York) – The unsanitary, overcrowded prisons and juvenile detention centers in most Latin American and Caribbean countries offer prime conditions for outbreaks of COVID-19 that could severely affect the health of detainees and of…
Inmates point from inside of La Modelo prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
News

Peacefully Protested Their Lack of Fundamental Rights

(Beirut) – More than a dozen Bidun activists detained in Kuwait since July 2019 began a hunger strike on August 22 to protest human rights violations against themselves and the Bidun community, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Bidun residential area in Taima, al-Jahra, Kuwait.
News

Stateless Bidun Planned Memorial After Member’s Suicide

(Beirut) – Kuwait’s State Security agency arrested at least 14 activists from the stateless Bidun community over the past week, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities arrested the activists after they organized a…
Bidun residential area in Taima, al-Jahra, Kuwait.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
News

Region-Wide Crackdown on Social Media Activism

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have attempted to silence peaceful critics in response to a wave of online activism in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in an interactive website that began operating today. The governments have responded to online…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
News

Extends Problematic Press Provisions to Online Expression

(Beirut) – Kuwait’s new cybercrime law includes far-reaching restrictions on Internet-based speech that breach Kuwait’s obligations under international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said today. The National Assembly, which approved the law on June…
A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on a browser in a photo illustration.
News

Protesters Expected to Face Illegal Gathering Charges

(Beirut) – Kuwaiti authorities broke up an opposition protest in Kuwait City on March 23, 2015, and detained 16 protesters. Eleven of the protesters were released on March 25 and are expected to face charges of illegal gathering. Five remain in custody…
News

Amend Measure to Meet International Standards

(Sanaa) – Kuwait’s new telecommunications law gives the government sweeping powers to block content, deny access to the Internet, and revoke licenses without giving reasons. The government should amend the law to limit the restrictions on…
News

Part of Broader Crackdown on People Pressing for Reform

  (Beirut) – Kuwaiti authorities have stripped five critics of their citizenship as part of a wider crackdown on people seeking reform. The Kuwaiti government should immediately restore their citizenship and end the practice. The official Kuwait News…
News

Case Violates Free Expression, Movement

(Beirut) – A five-year prison sentence followed by permanent exile for a Kuwaiti activist over his Twitter comments violated the rights to free expression and movement. A Kuwait first instance court imposed the sentence on Abdullah Fairouz Abdullah Abd al…
News

Upholds Restrictive Provision Used Against Journalists

(Beirut) – Kuwait’s Constitutional Court dealt a blow to free speech on December 2, 2013, in a case involving a journalist’s Twitter comments.The court rejected a challenge to article 25 of the penal code, which sets prison sentences of up to five years…
News

Expanded Prosecutions Over Religion Debates

(Sanaa) – A Kuwaiti court on November 18, 2013, sentenced a Kuwaiti man to five years in prison for a Twitter comment about Sunni/Shia theology. The sentence in the Kuwaiti Court of First Instance against Musab Shamsah was the second in less than a month…
News

Appeals Court Upholds Sentence for Insulting Rulers, the Prophet

(Beirut) –The Kuwaiti Court of Appeals on October 28, 2013, upheld a 10-year prison sentence for a local blogger’s comments on Twitter.  Hamad al-Naqi was sentenced for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and the kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, among other…
News

20-Month Sentence Reflects Mounting Assault on Free Speech

(Beirut) – A Kuwaiti appeal court’s decision to uphold a 20-month prison sentence on a teacher for political comments she made on Twitter further erodes the right to free speech in Kuwait. On July 17, 2013, the court of appeals confirmed the conviction…
News

Consultations Should Ensure Protection for Freedom of Expression

(Beirut)– Kuwaiti authorities should amend a proposed new press law that would increase state control of the news media and further curtail the right to free speech. The draft should be revised to protect free speech, consistent with requirements under…
News

Gunmen Open Fire on Leading Investigative Reporter’s Car

(Washington, DC) – Colombia should ensure that the investigation into the attack on a leading investigative journalist thoroughly examines possible motives related to his work and identifies all responsible parties, Human Rights Watch said today. On the…
News
(Kuwait City) – Kuwait’s Court of Appeal released a former member of parliament on bail on April 22, 2013, in his appeal of a five-year sentence for insulting the emir. The court held its first hearing in the case of Mussalam al-Barak, whom a lower court…
News

Cases Violate Free Speech Rights

(Beirut) – The Kuwaiti authorities should drop criminal charges against dozens of online activists, journalists, and politicians for legitimately exercising their rights to freedom of expression. The authorities should also withdraw charges and overturn…