Kuwait: Website blocked of the book "I'm Bedoon"
The authorities in Kuwait continue to confiscate the civil and human rights of the Bedoon community in the country, including freedom of opinion and expression. The latest arbitrary action was to block the website of the book "I'm Bedoon" was published. The book was written by the author and defender of the rights of the Bedoon, Khaled Al-Anezi.
According to reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), on the morning of 25 November 2018, the website hosting the book "I’m Bedoon" was completely blocked in Kuwait and not accessible online. It is worth mentioning that the book was available free of charge to those interested at the website: www.bidoon.org. The website is not functioning at the moment as it was targeted but will be back to work shortly.
On 23 November 2018, Al-Anezi, in a tweet published on his twitter account, dedicated the book to Saleh Al-Fadala, head of Central Apparatus for Illegal Residents’ Affairs. The Central Apparatus has failed, since its establishment in 2010, to enable the Bedoon community to obtain their civil and human rights. Al-Anezi has received a number of threats by auhtorities since publishing his book on the Internet on 21 November 2018.
The author describes his book as "a psychological war story that I lived in the dream of having a homeland and having rights like any other person around the world."
Khalid Al-Anezi is a Kuwaiti citizen -without a citizenship certificate- and a writer from the Bedoon community who has been working for years to defend the rights of his fellow Bedoon citizens in Kuwait.
GCHR condemns the insistence of authorities in Kuwait in their policies of severely restricting the public freedoms of the Bedoon community and the confiscation of their civil and human rights.
GCHR urges authorities in Kuwait to:
- Stop immediately and without any conditions the harassment of Khalid Al-Anezi and remove the block from the website of his book "I’m Bedoon" and not to target other writers and bloggers;
- Respect public freedoms, including freedom of the press and freedom of opinion and expression for all citizens, including citizens of the Bidoon community; and
- Ensure in all circumstances the ability of human rights defenders and internet activists in Kuwait to carry out their legitimate human rights work without fear of retaliation and without any restrictions, including judicial harassment.
The GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognizes the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 6 (c) “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others: (c) To study, discuss, form and hold opinions on the observance, both in law and in practice, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms and, through these and other appropriate means, to draw public attention to those matters” and to Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”