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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 Rights Watch said today.…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
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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

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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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.
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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

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…
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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

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…
News
(Kuwait City) – The acquittal of five Kuwaiti online activists charged with “offending the emir” could help ensure that Kuwaitis can freely express critical political opinions Muhammad al-Ajmi, Faris al-Balhan, Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, Fahd al-Jufaira and…
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Activists Charged, Protesters Attacked, Migrant Workers at Risk

(Kuwait City) – Human rights conditions deteriorated in Kuwait in 2012 during an ongoing political crisis, Human Rights Watch said today at a news conference for its World Report 2013. The security forces used what appeared to be excessive force to…
News

Emir Vetoes Legislation Authorizing Death for ‘Mocking Religion’

(Beirut, June 7, 2012) – A 10-year prison sentence for criticizing the kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and allegedly “insulting” the Prophet Mohammed on the social media site Twitter violates human rights standards. Kuwait’s Court of First Instance…
News

Two Held After Criticizing Rulers on Twitter, YouTube

(Beirut) - The Kuwaiti government should immediately release two Kuwaiti men detained over internet postings criticizing the rulers of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, Human Rights Watch said today. State security authorities detained and investigated…