Kuwait: 15 Bidoon Activists in Prison on Hunger Strike for Arbitrary Detention

2011 Kuwait Bidun

On 22 August 2019, 15 Bidoon activists in prison began an open-ended hunger strike in protest of their arbitrary detention on charges of peaceful assembly.

The government of Kuwait has a history of targeting the Bidoon community and has been increasingly aggressive in arrests since July. There are over 100,000 Bidoon people living in Kuwait who continued to be denied citizenship and access to basic services.

The 15 activists in prison began their open-ended hunger striketo protest their arbitrary detention and to demand their release. These 15 individuals include  Abdulhakim AlFadhli, a human rights defender and Bidoon activist, as well as many other Bidoon activists.

They are being held in the Public Prison which is supposed to be for individuals charged with misdemeanours or have an ongoing case for either a misdemeanour or felony. The prison is overcrowded, with 22 people sharing a single cell that remains lit for a majority of the day. Each cell has only two toilets and one kitchenette for all 22 individuals.

The European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR) calls on the government of Kuwait to free these Bidoon activists, and to end their ongoing oppression of the Bidoon community.