Target: His Highness Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait
Goal: Drop charges against human rights activist Abdullah Fairouz Abdullah Abd al-Kareem, who was jailed for criticizing the Amir
A Kuwaiti rights activist studying law in Egypt has been sentenced to 5 years in prison, and exile after finishing his time in jail. Abdullah Fairouz Abdullah Abd al-Kareem was convicted of criticizing the Amir of Kuwait on twitter and “misusing his mobile phone” to make those criticisms.
This most recent violation of freedom of expression is the latest in at least 18 sentences against journalists, activists and politicians who criticized the Amir. Kuwait’s continued persecution of freedom of expression constitutes a willful disregard of their participation in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Arab Charter on Human Rights. The United Nations’ official interpretation of the Covenant states that “All public figures…are legitimately subject to criticism” and that there must be “uninhibited expression” in matters of political dialogue.
What is especially concerning about Al-Kareem’s sentence is the choice to exile the activist after he has served his jail term. This is the first instance of exile being used against critics of the Amir. The sentence is a sign that Kuwaiti authorities are willing to take any action to prevent criticism of the Amir. Al-Kareem’s exile ignores rule of law because Kuwait’s own laws prohibit the exile of citizens.
Freedom of expression and opinion is crucial to political progress and national improvement. Sign this petition to tell Kuwait’s Amir to call for the charges against Al-Kareem to be dropped, and to provide greater freedom of expression for his citizens.
Free speech is essential to national improvement and political progress. When Kuwait joined the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the government of Emir Jaber III Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah recognized free speech’s importance and agreed to protect key political and civil rights of its citizens.
Today, your highness has shown utter disregard for the importance of this human right by prosecuting and sentencing Abdullah Fairouz Abdullah Abd al-Kareem to exile for criticizing your highness on Twitter. The sentencing of a Kuwaiti citizen to exile violates international law and Kuwait’s domestic law. Thus, your highness has shown Kuwait’s citizens that your highness does not respect rule of law.
Without official respect for rule of law, there is little justification for citizens to respect the law. It follows that this action can cause more protests than it will prevent.
I urge your highness, for the good of the country, to call for the charges against Al-Kareem to be dropped and to cease prosecuting your highness’s critics.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: The White House via Wikimedia Commons