Kuwait: Human rights defender Hadeel Buqrais faces trial
Update: Kuwait: On 18 May 2021, the Public Prosecution decided to dismiss the misdemeanor charges of defamation, publishing what would harm people's dignity online, and misusing the phone against human rights defender Hadeel Buqrais, thus closing the case.
Human rights defender Hadeel Buqrais received a text message from the Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice with information about a case against her, linked to an alleged information technology misdemeanour. A hearing of the case has been scheduled before the Plenary Court on 30 May 2021.
On 18 November 2020, Buqrais was summoned over the phone by the Electronic and Cyber Crime Combatting Department (ECCCD) in Kuwait, and she was interrogated about her peaceful activities on the Internet. She was charged with allegedly making public insults, defamation and misuse of telephone, in connection with two tweets published on 01 August 2020.
Buqrais is using her Twitter account for her peaceful activities, including defense of civil and human rights of citizens, especially the Bedoon community in Kuwait. She is a well-known human rights defender who contributed to many human rights activities in recent years. She has been the subject of smear campaigns and online attacks in reprisal for her work.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) believes that the trial is solely linked to her human rights work, aimed at intimidating, and harassing her to stop human rights activities and her defence of the rights for all citizens without exception.
GCHR declares its full solidarity with human rights defender Hadeel Buqrais, and calls on the authorities in Kuwait to drop all charges against her and stop the judicial harassment against her, in addition to providing full protection for her.