David Cameron should advise Emir of Kuwait to 'avoid a crackdown' at home during meeting today

Kuwait in ‘turmoil’ as Sheikh Sabah visits UK

Ahead of the Emir of Kuwait’s meeting with the Prime Minister David Cameron later today, Amnesty International Kuwait researcher Drewery Dyke said:

“With Kuwait in turmoil over mass demonstrations and widespread calls for a boycott of Saturday’s parliamentary election, David Cameron ought to be advising His Highness Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, the Emir, that Kuwait needs to avoid a crackdown.

“Protesters must be allowed to peacefully assemble to voice their views without hindrance or fear of arrest and such gatherings should be permitted to form into marches or other types of peaceful protest. Users of social media in Kuwait should also be able to enjoy protection where they do not incite racial hatred or violence, whether in support of or opposed to the government.

“In particular, Mr Cameron should seek public assurances from the Emir that the plight of the more than 100,000 stateless residents of Kuwait, known as Bidun, will be resolved equitably and by way of a transparent process, within the next four to five years, in line with government assurances.

“Mr Cameron should also call for charges against Musallam al-Barrak - and other Kuwaiti opposition figures and activists held for taking part in peaceful mass demonstrations or for so-called criticism of the Amir at a public protest last month - to be dropped.

“The Kuwaiti authorities need to call a halt to increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly in the emirate and Mr Cameron should make it clear that targeting  of Musallam al-Barrak and other activists is totally unacceptable and ought to be ended immediately.”

Yesterday Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah met the Queen at Windsor Castle ahead of a state procession and a guard of honour. Today he his having a private meeting with Prince Charles, attending a meeting with figures from British industry and holding talks with David Cameron.  

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