Release Mentally Ill Man Charged With Blasphemy


Target: Justice Minister Nayef al-Ajmi

Goal: Release a mentally ill man charged with insulting Islam and the emir of Kuwait

The government of Kuwait should immediately and unconditionally release a prisoner with mental disabilities who was sentenced to five years in prison for insulting Islam. Muhammad Eid Abdulmohsen al-Mekhial called the national public emergency phone number around 38 times in one day, cursing and denigrating Islam and the emir of Kuwait. Al-Mekhial had been in psychiatric treatment up until the time of his arrest and detention, as supported by his doctor. The charges should be thrown out on this basis and al-Mekhial should be released into the care of psychiatric professionals.

Al-Mekhial has admitted to making the phone call but has no recollection of what was said. He admits to being drunk at the time of the calls. Therefore, it is hard for the government to claim that he was fully conscious of the statements that he was making. His arrest is not surprising however, given Kuwait’s history of human rights abuses.

The Kuwaiti government is violating al-Mekhial’s freedom of speech by arresting him for these crimes. By ignoring his mental health record, the government is also in violation of international human rights law. Kuwait is a part to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the Arab Charter on Human Rights. The government is required to protect freedom of expression, and all of the charges filed against al-Mekhial are in violation of these treaties. Sign this petition to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Muhammad Eid Abdulmohsen al-Mekhial.


Dear Minister Nayef al-Ajmi,

The recent five-year sentence given to Muhammad Eid Abdulmohsen al-Mekhial is in violation of numerous international human rights laws. Al-Mekhial is mentally ill and should not be imprisoned for crimes that he has no control to stop himself from committing. His doctor admits to seeing him right up until his arrest. I ask that you release al-Mekhial to the care of his mental health professionals.

The charges that have been brought against al-Mekhial are also in violation of numerous human rights laws. The freedom of expression is a right to all, and should not be prosecuted unless it poses a real threat to national security. This does not apply to the case of al-Mekhial. Even if he was not inebriated and mentally ill, the statements that he made did not pose a threat to your country. I ask that you immediately fix this wrong and improve the human rights record of Kuwait.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond via Flickr

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