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Arbitrary detention of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli

Status: 
Imprisoned
About the situation

On 12 November 2019, the Criminal Court of Kuwait rescheduled the hearing of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli for the fourth time. It is now scheduled to take place on 26 November 2019.

On 15 October 2019, the Criminal Court of Kuwait re-scheduled the hearing session of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli's case for the third time.

On 17 September 2019, the Criminal Court of Kuwait rescheduled the hearing of human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli's case for the second time. It is now scheduled to be held on 15 October 2019.

On 10 September 2019, the Criminal Court of Kuwait rescheduled the hearing session of human right defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli to 17 September 2019.

On 4 September 2019, the Kuwaiti State Security Court refused to hear the case of human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and the other Bedoon detainees. The Public Prosecution of Kuwait transferred their case to the Kuwaiti Criminal Court where the next hearing is scheduled to be held on 10 September 2019.

On 2 September 2019, Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and other Bedoon detainees suspended their hunger strike due to the critical medical condition of some of them.

On 22 August 2019, human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and a number of other Bedoon prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike to protest their ongoing arbitrary detention.

On 29 July 2019, human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli was transferred from State Security custody to the Kuwaiti Central Prison. His court hearing has been scheduled for 16 August 2019.

On 21 July 2019, the Kuwaiti Public Prosecutor ordered a number of Bedoon rights defenders, including Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli, to be held in detention at the State Security Bureau of Kuwait. According to fellow human rights defenders, they have been facing ill treatment in solitary confinement while awaiting completion of the investigation against them.

About Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli

 Abdulhakim Al-FadhliAbdulhakim Al-Fadhli is a human rights defender promoting and defending the rights of the  Bedoon community in Kuwait, of which he is a member himself. The term Bedoon, meaning 'without' in Arabic, refers to the community of stateless persons, native to Kuwait, who are prohibited from obtaining any official state documents such as birth, death or marriage certificates. As a consequence, they face difficulties in finding employment, and accessing healthcare, education, and other social services provided to Kuwaiti citizens. Recently the Bedoon activists have been advocating for social justice, the right to work and access to the same  rights as other Kuwaiti citizens.

17 October 2019
Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli’s hearing delayed

On 15 October 2019, the Criminal Court of Kuwait re-scheduled the hearing session of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli's case for the third time. It is now scheduled to be held on 12 November 2019.

18 September 2019
Hearing of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli rescheduled

On 17 September 2019, the Criminal Court of Kuwait rescheduled the hearing of human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli's case for the second time. It is now scheduled to be held on 15 October 2019. Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli is in detention since 12 July 2019, following his calls to protest for the rights of the Bedoon minority in Kuwait.

3 September 2019
Hunger Strike Suspended

On 2 September 2019, Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and other Bedoon detainees suspended their hunger strike due to the critical medical condition of some of them.

22 August 2019
Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli begins open-ended hunger strike

On 22 August 2019, human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and a number of other Bedoon prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike to protest their ongoing arbitrary detention.

6 August 2019
Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli transferred to Kuwaiti Central Prison ahead of court hearing

On 29 July 2019, human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli was transferred from State Security custody to the Kuwaiti Central Prison. His court hearing has been scheduled for 16 August 2019.

22 July 2019
Arbitrary detention and allegations of ill treatment of Bedoon minority rights defenders

On 21 July 2019, the Kuwaiti Public Prosecutor ordered a number of Bedoon rights defenders, including Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli, to be held in detention at the State Security Bureau of Kuwait. According to fellow human rights defenders, they have been facing ill treatment in solitary confinement while awaiting completion of the investigation against them.

Download the Urgent Appeal

Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli is a human rights defender promoting and defending the rights of the Bedoon community in Kuwait, of which he is a member himself. The term Bedoon, meaning 'without' in Arabic, refers to the community of stateless persons, native to Kuwait, who are prohibited from obtaining any official state documents such as birth, death or marriage certificates. As a consequence, they face difficulties in finding employment, and accessing healthcare, education, and other social services provided to Kuwaiti citizens. Recently, Bedoon activists have been advocating for social justice, the right to work and access to the same rights as other Kuwaiti citizens.

On 12 July 2019, human rights defender Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli was arbitrarily detained in his house by Kuwaiti security agents. This comes amidst a crackdown on Bedoon minority rights defenders in the country, during which at least a dozen human rights defenders have been arrested including Ahmed Al-Onan, Awad Al-Onan, Mutaib Al-Onan, Abdullah Al-Fadhli, Yousef Al-Osmi, Ahmed Al-Anzi, Yousif Al-Bashig, Nawaf Al-Bader, Jarallah Al-Fadhli and Hamid Jamil. All detained human rights defenders are being kept in solitary confinement without access to their lawyers or families. They were only permitted to be in touch with their lawyers during the interrogations.

At around 6.30 pm on 12 July, Kuwaiti state security forces in plain clothes surrounded the house of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli, who surrendered himself in order to prevent the security forces from entering his family home and terrorising his parents and siblings. State security forces nonetheless broke into the house, threatening and assaulting his sisters and mother who were not wearing their head scarves at that time.

The security forces restricted the movement of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli’s father who asked them to wait outside until his wife and daughters put on their headscarves and he further asked to see a search warrant. The security agents confiscated the phones of all family members and physically assaulted all the family members. They insulted his sisters and threatened them with arrest. The security agents left around 7.30pm and detained Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli’s younger brother for six hours releasing him around 2am the following day outside the city limits of Kuwait.

On 18 July 2019, Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli’s father submitted a complaint against the State Security Bureau with the Prosecutor General for the violent break-in to his house and the harassment of his family, despite the peaceful surrender of the human rights defender. The family had previously attempted to register a complaint with the police station in the Al Jaberya area in the capital of Kuwait, which was rejected by the head of the police station.

According to the human rights defender’s family and fellow activists, the General Department of Criminal Investigation and the State Security Bureau coordinated the arrest of several Bedoon minority rights defenders following calls for protests for Bedoon rights on 12 July 2019. All the detained defenders are being held in State Security custody, including Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli, who was brought to the prosecutor's office on 15 July 2019, where he was informed that he is facing up to 10 charges related to “conspiracy against the state”,“damaging the state’s reputation”, “misusing a phone”, and “calling for protests”. His overnight interrogation lasted from 9.30 pm on 16 July 2019 until the following morning.

The human rights defenders reported to their lawyers that they are being subjected to ill treatment, as they are unable to distinguish day and night in their cells, accompanied by a lenghty interrogation process. The request of the human rights defenders to be transferred to the Central Prison was rejected by the public prosecutor.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the continued targeting of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli and other Bedoon rights defenders by the Kuwaiti authorities and condemns their arbitrary detention, as well as the violent attack on the family of Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli. It is believed that these acts of harassment are solely related to their peaceful and legitimate work promoting and protecting the rights of stateless people in Kuwait and their legitimate request to pursue social justice and equal rights.