Kuwait. In May, Kuwaiti security police revealed a spy cell acting on behalf of Iran. According to newspaper reports, the spies had passed on information about the Kuwaiti army and about US troops based in Kuwait to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. According to COUNTRYAAH, Kuwait has a population of 4.137 million (2018). A number of the suspects were arrested and six, including a woman, were tried in August. Iran denied the information.
In April, the American human rights organization Human Rights Watch reported that 21 Egyptians, supporters of Egyptian opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei, had been expelled and that about the same number had been arrested.
A 23-year-old woman was sentenced to death in March for causing a fire in 2009 that claimed the lives of 57 women and children at her husband’s wedding with a second woman. The convicted refused the charge.
In December 2015, the country decided to lower the definition of minors from 18 to 16 years. The consequence was that from January 2017, 16-year-olds could be sentenced according to the same rules as adults – possibly. also to death. The same year, the government decided that all citizens or people residing in Kuwait should submit DNA. Persons who refused could be sentenced to up to 1 year in prison or a fine of US $ 33,500. The law came into force in July 2016.
In 2015, the government passed a law granting house slaves the right to a weekly day off, 30 days annual leave, a 12 hour work day, and earning 1 month’s salary per month. years of employment at the end of the contract. At the same time, the employer had to pay overtime pay and the government set a monthly minimum wage of US $ 200. However, house slaves remained disadvantaged than others in the labor market who had an 8 hour day. Foreign labor conditions, however, remained poor. In the first 4 months of 2016 alone, the authorities deported 14,400 workers whose contracts had expired.
In January 2016, the country tightened its cybercrime law so that individuals could now be punished with up to 10 years in prison for criticizing the government or the judiciary. Also in January, the government passed a new Internet media law requiring network media to register with the authorities and in June the law on print media was extended to network media as well.
Shia opposition politician Abdulhamid Dashti was deprived of his parliamentary immunity in March and then fled abroad. He was accused on social media of criticizing Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The total sentence for the various charges was 40 years. In December, a court acquitted him in one of the charges but gave him 10 years in prison for another. Dashti did not have the right to appeal the verdict as long as he was still abroad.
The UN Committee Against Tortur issued its 3rd Periodic Report on Kuwait in July 2016. In the report, the Committee expressed concern that the deadline for arresting a judge had been doubled to 4 days and that the period accused could be detained before a trial had doubled from 10 to 21 days. It increased the ability of security forces to expose detainees to torture.
Former MP and government critic Musallam al-Barrak continued to serve his 2-year prison sentence for criticizing the government in a speech. In November 2016, an appeals court upheld the conditional judgments of 13 people accused of citing passages of al-Barrak’s speech.
The state continued to refuse to grant citizenship to the approx. 100,000 Bidun (stateless, including Palestinians) who stayed in the country. The Comoros government offered to consider granting them “economic citizenship” if it received an official request from Kuwait.
The EU and the US do not criticize the dictatorship. It has too much money invested in Western companies and imports too many Western goods.