Kuwait: Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities reject asylum request of blogger Musaed Al-Musallam

16.02.21

On 15 February 2020, blogger Musaed Al-Musallam, received a text message from the local Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that his asylum application had been rejected by the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he has been living. Al-Musallam is facing extradition to Kuwait, where he has been sentenced to prison.

The UNHCHR letter stated, “We would like to inform you that we have received a decision from the Ministry of Security to reject your asylum application for the third time.” The letter also added, “Yes, we are already working on a lawsuit. We will file it to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Court for the third time, and we ask the court itself to issue a decision on the asylum application, not the ministry. The court has supported our call twice so far, and we hope that this time the court will issue a positive decision in asylum request. We will also inform the lawyer."

The court based in Sarajevo held a session on 05 February 2021 to consider the Kuwaiti authorities’ request to extradite him, based on the memorandum they submitted to INTERPOL requesting that he be returned to Kuwait to serve the multiple prison sentences issued against him.

At the beginning of the session, Al-Musallam spoke about his peaceful civil society work from 2004 to 2015, the year of his departure from the country. The attorney defending him also denied the accusations brought against him by the Kuwaiti authorities and said that he faced unfair trials that did not meet minimum international standards for a fair trial and legal procedures.

His lawyer said, “The cases are related to tweets only and his peaceful participation in gatherings and have no other aspects.” The Public Prosecutor claimed that the case was full-fledged and that he should be deported to his country, Kuwait.

For more information on the case see a previous appeal: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2591

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) appeals once again to all international mechanisms, in particular the United Nations mechanisms, to intervene immediately and urgently to prevent the deportation of Musaed Al-Musallam to Kuwait, as this would expose him to imminent danger. GCHR urges the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fulfill its obligations according to international human rights law and grant Al-Musallam the right to political asylum due to the need for immediate protection.

GCHR calls on the Office of the UNHCR to urgently find a third country for the Muslim singers to provide him with the protection he is currently desperate for.