Target: Douglas Silliman, U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait
Goal: Applaud the release of an American couple being wrongfully held in a Kuwait prison.
U.S. army veteran Monique Coverson and her partner Larissa Joseph have been released from an unjust 25-year sentence at a Kuwait prison. The couple had returned to Kuwait after active duty to work as military contractors. During a police raid of their house, an ounce of a “tobacco-like” substance was confiscated and the two women were arrested on a charge of drug possession. Analysis showed that the substance was completely legal in Kuwait, but despite this evidence Monique and Larissa remained in prison. Now, after numerous petitions written by the couple’s family as well as one published on ForceChange, the innocent women have been released and are back with their families.
Many had speculated that the baseless drug possession charge was simply an excuse to arrest this couple based on their sexual orientation. After eight months, police statements increased the quantity of the alleged drug from one ounce of a legal substance to one pound of marijuana, and the women were sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment. This sentence seems much too harsh for such a minor offense. Homosexuality is heavily frowned upon in Kuwait, so it is highly likely that Monique and Larissa were targeted because they are a lesbian couple.
The U.S. Embassy took notice of the public outcry around this case and replied to the petitions with a promise to “provide all appropriate consular assistance.” This freedom from wrongful imprisonment marks a victory of justice. Sign the petition below to thank the U.S. Embassy for acknowledging the injustice of this case and applaud the successful release of these innocent women.
Dear Ambassador Silliman,
Two U.S. citizens have been released from a baseless sentence of 25 years of imprisonment at a Kuwait prison. Monique Coverson, a U.S. army veteran, and her partner Larissa Joseph were arrested for drug possession while working in Kuwait as military contractors. Police statements greatly exaggerated the alleged offense, when in reality the substance in these women’s possession was entirely legal. It is highly likely that the drug possession charge was really a cover that allowed law enforcement to arrest the couple based on their sexual orientation.
Now, the couple has been declared innocent and successfully released from this wrongful imprisonment. A part of this is in thanks to the U.S. Embassy’s acknowledgement of the injustice of the sentence. By responding to petitioners and promising to provide any appropriate assistance, you helped draw attention to this issue. We, the undersigned, applaud your decision to stand up for the rights of U.S. citizens and urge you to continue working for justice and human rights.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: meltwater