Kuwait: Kuwait: Arrest warrant issued against human rights defender Nawaf Al-Hendal


On 27 January 2015, the State Security Apparatus at the Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for human rights defender Nawaf Al-Hendal following tweets posted on his twitter account, which included some of his personal views after the death of the King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

It is worth mentioning that Al-Hendal is in Geneva at the moment to attend the UPR of the State of Kuwait, which will begin this month. He is known as a human rights defender in Kuwait and on a regular basis he works as an observer of human rights violations, especially during peaceful marches.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) condemns the issuing of an arrest warrant against Nawaf Al-Hendal solely due to his peaceful human rights activities. We believe that he is being targeted in order to intimidate him and others from working as defenders of human rights. 

The GCHR urge the authorities in Kuwait to:

1. Immediately halt the arrest warrant of human rights defender Nawaf Al-Hendal;

2. 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. 

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 Recognised 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 5 (c): “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: (c) To communicate with non-governmental or intergovernmental organizations” and to 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.”