'Walking for Her' demonstrators threatened, harassed and defamed

Peaceful Assembly

On 5th April 2017, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights reported that human rights defender Hadeel Buqrais and other participants in the 'Walking for Her' demonstration, a peaceful march of solidarity with Saudi women, were threatened and harassed. Buqrais, the organiser in Kuwait, and other march participants were subjected to a relentless media smear campaign by supporters of the Saudi government, both in and outside Kuwait, as well as from a member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly. Buqrais and her colleagues received numerous serious threats on the phone and through various social media posts accusing them of treason.

Detained human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli suspended his hunger strike on 3rd March 2017, after the Central Prison Administration agreed to communicate his demands to the authorities, including his request to be released. Al-Fadhli began his hunger strike on 22nd February to demand his release from prison after serving his full three-month sentence for participating in a 2012 peaceful demonstration on the rights of Bedoon citizens in Kuwait. Upon serving his sentence, however, the prison administration claimed that he needed to spend an additional 35 days in prison for a prior case dating back to 2011. Al-Fadhli had in fact already spent more than 35 days in prison after being detained and imprisoned on several occasions.