Human Lives Human Rights: At least eight individuals have been held in detentions by Kuwaiti authorities since 4 November without charge and all of them were interrogated for several days without granting them access to a lawyer, rendering their detention arbitrary.
According to three Kuwaiti human rights activists, who had a direct knowledge of the case, Kuwaiti security forces arrested Habib Ghadanfari, Jamal al-Shatti, Khaled al-Baghli, Adel Dashti, Jasem Dashti, Musa al-Masri, Anwar al-Hazim and Jalal Jamal between 4 and 6 November, without presenting any warrants for their arrest.
Currently in Kuwait’s Central Prison, the detainees are awaiting a court hearing on 15 December, when their lawyers expect they will be charged as a group.
It is worth to mention that all of the detainees are over 50 years of age, and at least two suffer from serious health issues.
The State Security Agency held and interrogated the eight detainees without access to their lawyers for between two and four days, which violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which requires authorities to promptly inform detainees of any charges they face and allow them adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence.
The Kuwaiti authorities must ensure the detainees’ right to due process and a fair trial are respected and that they receive timely legal representation and adequate medical care.
The state security officials also detained another two Kuwaiti nationals and at least eight non-nationals, including an Egyptian, a Sudanese, an Afghan and several Syrians and Iranians. The detentions were mostly reported without names or exact dates of arrest in the government-aligned Kuwaiti press.
Rights groups condemn their arrests, saying that their detention without charge for over a month represents a clear violation of their right to a fair trial. Not only have they been denied access to lawyers during pre-trial detention and interrogations, the authorities also subjected them to ill-treatment despite a number of them suffering from serious health ailments.
Kuwait is failing to meet its obligation to ensure fair trial procedures and prohibit arbitrary detention under international human rights law.