Kuwait: Human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli summoned for third time this month
Update: Kuwait: On 01 September 2022, the Misdemeanours Court acquitted prominent human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli, general coordinator of the Kuwaiti Bedoon Coalition, of all charges against him.
On 15 March 2022, human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli received a phone call from the Public Prosecution in Kuwait asking him to appear before it the next morning. It was his third summons this month.
This morning, Al-Fadhli went to the Public Prosecution at the appointed time, where the interrogation began in the Media, Information and Publication Affairs Prosecution at half past ten and continued until two o’clock in the afternoon. After that, the Public Prosecution decided to release him on a personal bail, without a financial guarantee, and with a guarantee of knowing his home address and phone number.
Several alleged charges were brought against him, including insult, defamation, and accusations that affect the reputation and work of a government employee,
He was previously investigated twice recently, the first on 09 March 2022, before the Public Prosecution, and the second on 10 March 2022, before the Department of Electronic Crimes. These successive investigations are linked to a complaint filed against him by Colonel Mohammed Al-Sharaf, who was delegated ten years ago from the Ministry of the Interior to work in the Central Apparatus for Illegal Residents’ Affairs, where he is currently a director for the office of the head of the Apparatus.
The case against him centres around the alleged use of a Twitter account to make accusations that Colonel Al-Sharaf used his position to extort women from the Bedoon community, a charge which Al-Fadhli denied.
For more information, read: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2963
Local reports received by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) confirmed that the entire case may be referred to the Misdemeanours Court for Media, Information and Publication Affairs after completing the investigations.
Once again, GCHR strongly condemns the judicial and security harassment against prominent human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and his repeated summoning and interrogation without the presence of his lawyer, due to a series of false accusations against him. There is no doubt that the reason for his persecution are his peaceful, legitimate and tireless activities in defense of human rights for the Bedoon community in Kuwait.
GCHR urges the authorities in Kuwait to:
- Stop all forms of harassment, including judicial and security harassment, against Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and drop all charges against him;
- Ensure that all human rights defenders in Kuwait are - in all circumstances - able to carry out their legitimate human rights work without fear of reprisals and without any restrictions.