Kuwait

Kuwait
OL
8 Mar. 2019
KWT 1/2019
Mandates: Business, Development, Environment, Foreign debt, Indigenous peoples, International order, Water and sanitation
Alleged victims: –

Concerns in relation to the ongoing work of the Working Group III on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Reform.

“. . . [W]e wish to express our overarching concerns that international investment agreements (IIAs) and their ISDS mechanism have often proved to be incompatible with international human rights law and the rule of law.”

“The inherently asymmetric nature of the ISDS system, lack of investors’ human rights obligations, exorbitant costs associated with the ISDS proceedings and extremely high amount of arbitral awards are some of the elements that lead to undue restrictions of States’ fiscal space and undermine their ability to regulate economic activities and to realize economic, social, cultural and environmental rights. The ISDS system can also negatively impact affected communities’ right to seek effective remedies against investors for project-related human rights abuses.”

“We believe what is necessary is a fundamental, systemic change, which entails moving towards a fairer and more transparent multilateral system, which duly takes into account the rights and obligations of investors and States in line with all applicable international laws and standards concerning human rights, labour rights and environmental rights.”

 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia
UA
1 Apr. 2019
SAU 6/2019
Mandates: Arbitrary Detention, Disappearances, Freedom of opinion and expression
Alleged victims: 1

Information received concerning alleged arrest and enforced disappearance of Yemeni journalist, Marwan Ali Naji Al Muraisy in Saudi Arabia.

“We express grave concern at the alleged arrest and enforced disappearance of Mr. Al Muraisy since June 2018. We are particularly concerned that his arrest and disappearance may be directly connected to his work as a journalist. The deprivation of liberty and disappearance of Mr. Al Muraisy would be inconsistent with the right of every individual to life, liberty and security of the person, the right to recognition as a person before the law and the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, as set forth in articles 3, 6 and 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). If found to be connected to his dissenting voice and his work as a journalist, the arrest and disappearance of Mr. Al Muraisy would moreover be inconsistent with the right to freedom of opinion and expression as set forth in article 19 of the UDHR. We reiterate our concerns raised at the reported crackdown on dissent by Saudi authorities.”

Saudi Arabia
AL
17 Apr. 2019
SAU 7/2019
Mandates: Arbitrary Detention, Education
Alleged victims: 1

In this connection, we would like to bring to your attention information that we have received regarding the alleged arrest and continued detention of Mr. Abdulaziz Saeed Saad Halwan Abdullah, a Qatari national (ID number 29563404734) in Saudi Arabia.

“. . . [W]e express grave concern at the arrest and continued detention of Mr. Abdul Aziz Abdullah. We also express serious concern that both Mr. Abdullah’s whereabouts and the reasons for his detention remain unknown raising questions as to his physical and psychological welfare. We further recall that the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance establishes that no State shall practice, permit or tolerate enforced disappearances and recall that prompt and effective investigations should be carried out in order to clarify the fate or whereabouts of Mr. Abdul Aziz Abdullah and to ensure that his rights are protected (article 2(1)).”

Saudi Arabia
UA
27 May 2019
SAU 8/2019
Mandates: Arbitrary Detention, Executions, Religion or belief, Torture
Alleged victims: 1

Information received concerning the risk of execution of Dr. Abbas Alabbad as a result of unfair trial and discrimination based on religion.

“. . . [W]e are concerned at the reported arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention of Dr. Alabbas and the absence of habeas corpus guarantee, the alleged admission of evidence obtained under torture or other ill-treatment, the apparent restrictions to his right to adequate legal assistance, the stated nature of the charges imposed and the competent jurisdiction as well as the overall reported number of defendants involved in the case, which may have irreversibly affected the fairness of the ensuing trial . . .”

We are further concerned that Dr. Alabbas, and others involved as above, may have been targeted for belonging to the Shia community and discriminated based on their religion or belief, therefore in violation of Article 7 and 18 of the UDHR, as well as Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.”

“We recall that the death penalty may be imposed following compliance with a strict set of substantive and procedural requirements. In particular, capital punishment may only be carried out for the “most serious crimes”, involving intentional killing. Accordingly, the death penalty can never be applied as a sanction against one’s religion or belief. Furthermore, States should also ensure that the death penalty is not applied as a result of discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law, including on the grounds of religion or belief.”

 

Additional communications sent and published but not included in the HRC 42 Joint Communications Report:

Kuwait
AL
5 July 2019
KWT 2/2019
Mandates: Human rights defenders, Minority issues
Alleged victims: 1

Information received concerning an online campaign against Ms. Ebtehal Al-Khateeb, after speaking out for the rights of the Bedoon community in Kuwait.

“We would like to express our serious concern at the allegations of an online attack against Ms. Al-Khateeb, which appears to be related to her peaceful and legitimate work advocating for the human rights of Bedoon people in Kuwait, as well as her exercise of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression.”

Saudi Arabia
AL
5 July 2019
SAU 10/2019
Mandates: Business, Executions, Freedom of opinion and expression, Human rights defenders, Privacy
Alleged victims: 3

Information received concerning the surveillance, intimidation and harassment against Mr. Omar Abduaziz Alzahrani

Serious concern is expressed over what appears to be illegal surveillance, harassment and intimidation against Mr. Alzahrani’s in order to dissuade him from continuing his human rights criticism of the Government of Saudi Arabia.”