Kuwait: Kuwait: Arrest and detention of blogger and human rights defender Mohammed Al-Ajmi

28.08.14

Update: On 02 September 2014, he was released on bail.

On 27 August 2014, the Department of Criminal Investigation summoned blogger and human rights activist, Mohammed Al-Ajmi. As a result he went to their offices, located in Salmiya at 10:00am on the same day. On his arrival the Department of Criminal Investigation ordered his detention for a period of ten days pending investigation.

Mohammad Al-Ajmi is a blogger and a member of the National Committee for Monitoring Violations where he works as a human rights observer. He was previously arrested on 6 July 2014, while he was monitoring violations during the march, "Dignity of the nation" and was released on the same day.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights  (GCHR) believes that his arrest and detention is solely related to his legitimate and peaceful work in the field of human rights and in particular his work as an observer of human rights violations by security forces during peaceful marches. The GCHR expresses concern that fabricated charges may be brought against the defender aimed at stopping his human rights activities.

The GCHR calls on the authorities in Kuwait to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Mohammed Al-Ajmi and drop all charges that are directed or may be brought against him;
  2. Guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mohammed Al-Ajmi while he remains in detention;
  3. Immediately grant him access to a lawyer and to his family;
  4. 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 to Article 12 (1 and 2): “(1) Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. (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.”