Kuwait: Kuwait: Ongoing trial and detention of human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli
On July 24, 2014, the Kuwaiti Misdemeanors Court postponed the trial of human rights defender, Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli, to 7 August 2014 and ordered his continued detention. The public prosecutor had previously extended his detention on 16 July 2014 to ten more days.
Credible reports confirmed that Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli is still on hunger strike, which began on 10 July 2014, to protest against the ill-treatment and beating he had been subjected to by an officer belonging to the security force who arrested him on 7 July 2014. The certified medical reports showed that Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli sustained a punctured eardrum in his left ear and a scratch in the right ear flap.
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The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is very concerned about the arrest of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and the abuse he has reportedly received at the hands of security forces, which e it is believed is solely due to his peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights in Kuwait.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights urges authorities in Kuwait to:
- Immediately and unconditionally release Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli as he is solely targeted due to his work in the field of human rights;
- Ensure the physical and psychological integrity and security of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli while he remains in detention;
- Open an immediate, independent, impartial and thorough investigation into the ill-treatment and beating of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;
- Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Kuwait are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all 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, recognises 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 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): “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.”