Kuwait: Twitter account of human rights lawyer Abeer Al-Haddad hacked after she sued the head of the Central Apparatus for Illegal Residents’ Affairs

06.10.18

On 05 October 2018, the twitter account of human rights lawyer Abeer Al-Haddad was hacked in Kuwait, four days after she sued the head of the Central Apparatus for Illegal Residents’ Affairs.

Her twitter account shows the following message “Caution: This account is temporarily restricted.” The Executive Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), Khalid Ibrahim, tweeted about the incident and asked for support, saying, “Show your solidarity with Human Rights Lawyer Abeer Al-Haddad,” whose Twitter account @3beerlawyer was hacked “solely due to her defense of the Bedoon Community in the country.”

On 02 October 2018, she filed a legal complaint at the Administrative Court against the head of the Central Apparatus for Illegal Residents’ Affairs, Saleh Al-Fadala, for his failure to reform the situation of the Bedoon community in Kuwait and protect their civil and human rights. Some observers say that this institution has complicated the daily life of Kuwait's Bedoon citizens.

This prompted Al-Haddad, as a lawyer and legal attorney to a large number of Bedoon citizens, to sue the head of the Apparatus not only due to the fact that he was working without legal status, but also because she accused him of neglecting both his duties and job functions. In addition, he reportedly failed to achieve the humanitarian objectives for which the Apparatus was established.

On 13 August 2018, Al-Haddad published a tweet stating her intention to sue Al-Fadala, whom she said was working illegally. The Apparatus was established under decree No. 467 issued in 2010 and Al-Fadala was appointed as the head of this government body with the rank of Minister by Decree No. 468 issued in 2010. The period of work of the Apparatus was determined to be for five years; however, it was extended twice, in 2015 for two years, and in 2017 for three years, but no decree was issued referring to the extension of the work of the head of the Apparatus.

Since she announced her intention to sue Al-Fadala in August, Al-Haddad has received a large number of threats from Al-Fadala’s supporters demanding that she stop the legal case against him, while at the same time defaming her using some false accounts. They accused her of looking for fame even though she has been working on issues pertaining to the Bedoon community for seven years. Also, threats have been directed against Al-Haddad questioning her patriotism and accusing her of insulting the reputation of the country. GCHR believes that this pressure is designed to get her to stop her work.

GCHR declares its full solidarity with Abeer Al-Haddad, a human rights lawyer and prominent advocate of Bedoon rights in Kuwait, and calls upon the concerned authorities to protect her from any harassment due to the human rights work she is doing. GCHR also calls upon the Kuwaiti government to expedite the resolution of the problems of the Bedoon community and immediately grant them civil and human rights as full citizens of Kuwait without discrimination.