Human Rights Committee concludes review of Kuwait

The Human Rights Committee today concluded its review of the implementation by Kuwait of its obligations from the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by issuing its advanced unedited version of its findings on Kuwait today. A finalised document should be available shortly.
The review took place with the participation of a number of Kuwaiti NGOs and human rights defenders, including two Kuwaiti human rights defenders from the Freedom Organisation for Human Rights invited in Geneva by Alkarama. They were able to provide information of the on-the-ground human rights situation in Kuwait, including the status of judges, such as the lack of women magistrates and the disproportionate amount of non-Kuwaiti nationals within the judiciary. Other issues raised by Alkarama include the situation of domestic migrant workers and the Bedoon ("stateless"). This visit was preceded by the presentation of Alkarama's report on the situation to the Committee.

The Committee also picked up on Alkarama's other points of concern, such as the lack of freedom of the press, declaring that 'the Committee is concerned about the excessive restriction on freedom of expression' and that it 'is concerned about the high number of cases that are brought to courts under blasphemy laws'. The Committee stated that Kuwait should there revise legislation relating to these issues. Among other issues, arbitrary detention was also raised, particularly relating to policy custody, which should be limited to 48 hours, and that of people awaiting deportation. As in previous sessions, Alkarama was able to film the review, and has made the entire review available on its website.

As part of its follow-up process, the Committee has requested that information relating to the implementation of the rights of migrant domestic workers, arbitrary detention in policy custody and freedom of expression be provided to the Committee by November 2012. Alkarama plans to also provide information in this regard, and will continue to follow implementation by Kuwait of its international human rights obligations closely, particularly regarding its four main areas of concern (disappearances, extrajudicial executions, torture and arbitrary detention).
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