Kuwait: Joint submission to Universal Periodic Review finds Kuwait has not implemented any recommendations related to civic space
In a joint submission to the third cycle of the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Kuwait, to be held in January 2020, the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), MENA Rights Group and CIVICUS found that Kuwait did not implement any of the 13 recommendations related to civic space made at its previous review.
During the second UPR cycle in January 2015, Kuwait accepted 182 out of 297 recommendations. The Government accepted 13 recommendations on civic space, specifically on the situation of human rights defenders, and the protection of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. Yet, human rights defenders face severe restrictions, with women human rights defenders and Bedoon (stateless) activists facing heightened threats. Legal and policy limitations placed on the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly put human rights defenders at a continuous risk of detention, defamation, citizenship revocation and other forms of reprisals as a direct result of their work. This restrictive environment is enabled by repressive legislation such as the 1979 Public Gatherings Act, the National Security Law of 1970, the Cybercrime Law of 2015, and the 2006 Press and Publications Law, all of which place undue restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms.
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