Over the past two years, people outside the Gulf, have been exposed to the issue of statelessness in the region as the Bedoon (which translates to without in Arabic) communities protest for their rights to education, health, employment, and most importantly, their right to citizenship. The Bedoon of Kuwait have been the most outspoken in the Gulf, protesting in their areas to raise awareness for their plight. More than 230 of them have been arrested and charged with illegal protesting since the Arab Spring started.
Last October, Kuwait witnessed one of the biggest Bedoon protests on the international day of non-violence. In that protest, in Taimaa area, a protester named Abdullatif Ajil Al-Shammari was shot in the eye and is trying right now raising money for a surgery that might save his eye in France. The same protest was mainly organized by prominent Bedoon activist Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli, who is now in Kuwait's Central jail.
According to Bedoon Rights, the activist was arrested after his brother Abdulnasser was taken. The website published this picture of a protest in Taimaa on the 12th of December that called for the release of the Al-Fadhli brothers.
Jail and Deportation!
According to their lawyer, Bedoon Rights reports that the brothers were taken after a court verdict of “two years in jail and a deportation order” was issued against them. The verdict was made in absentia for case number 357/2012, which accused them of attacking a policeman in a protest last March. The policeman has actually cancelled the case against the two activists but authorities pushed the case to punish the two activists for their leading role in organizing protests in the past two years.
Tweeting about Torture
On December the 13th, Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli's account on Twitter had new updates about the way he and his brother were arrested. Al-Fadhli spoke also of the way they were arrested. It seems that Al_Fadhli is tweeting his ordeal and that of his brother's – from jail.
Here are the tweets:
عاجل عاجل/من داخل السجن المركزي صباح الخير بعد قليل سأقوم بكتابة تفاصيل ماحدث معي انا وأخي عبدالناصر وكيفية اعتقالنا وماتعرضنا له من تعذيب!
@Hakeemq80: Urgent from the Central jail: Good morning, in a bit, I will write to you the details of what happened to me and my brother Abdulnasser and how we were arrested and tortured.
اولا سأحكي تفاصيل اختطاف أخي تم اختطاف عبدالناصر في يوم الأحد مساءا واعترضته سيارات المباحث في صباح السالم وكان عددهم أكثر من ٨ أشخاص
@Hakeemq80: First I will write how my brother was kidnapped on Sunday evening (9th of December) and was blocked by state police cars in Sabah AlSalem area. The police men were more than eight.
وقاموا شبيحة الحمود بأنزال أخي من مركبتة وقيدوه بالكلبشات واقتادوه الى مخفر الصليبية وهناك قاموا بتعذيبة وضربة لرفضه اعطاهم معلومات عني
@Hakeemq80: The thugs of [interior minister] Al-Humood got my brother out of his car, handcuffed him and took him to Sulaibiya police station and tortured him there and beat him to give them information about me.
ومارسو معه جميع ادوات التعذيب من (شواية وفلقه) وشددو بضربهم على اماكن حساسه بجسمه لمدة ٢٤ ساعة ومنعوا عنه الاكل والشراب
وبعد ما اسأت حالة أخي عبدالناصر الصحية من قبل شبيحة احمد الحمود لتعذيبهم له قاموا بتحويله الى مباحث الجنائية وهناك اتضح أن عليه حكم سنتان
@Hakeemq80: When my brother Abdulnasser's health deteriorated because of all the torture, AlHumood's thugs took him to the criminal investigations where he was told that he has a two years jail sentence.
قاموا بتحويله الى السجن المركزي وهو الان بجانبي حالته الصحية سيئة من شدة الضرب والتشوهات الكثيره في جسمه من كثرة التعذيب الذي مارسوها معه
@Hakeemq80: He was sent to the Central Jail and now he is next to me in a bad shape because of the beating and has different deformed areas in his body because of the torture.
والأن سأحكي لكم تفاصيل اختطافي تمت مراقبتنا منذ خروجنا من الاعتصام الذي كان في تيماء يوم الثلاثاء لحين وصولنا الى النفق اللي بصليبية
@Hakeemq80: Now I will write details of how I got kidnapped. I was tracked since I left the protest in Taimaa on Tuesday until we got to the tunnel in Sulaibiya area.
وبعدها دخلنا النفق وقاموا بتسكير النفق علينا من امامنا وخلفنا بمركباتهم ونزلوا علينا حاملين أسلحتهم وقاموا بأنزالنا من مركبتنا
@Hakeemq80: We got into the tunnel and they closed the tunnel from the front and back with their cars. They came to us with their guns and took us from our car.
واسقطونا ارضاً ووضعوا أسلحتهم على رؤوسنا وقاموا بتكبيلنا وربطوا عيوننا “بالشماغ” ومن ثم توجهوا بنا الى مخفر الصليبية وهناك مارسو معي الضرب
@Hakeemq80: They put us on the ground, pointed their guns to our heads, handcuffed us and blindfolded us, and took us to Sulaibiya police station and beat me there.
والتعذيب لعدم تسليم نفسي والتحريض المتكرر للاعتصاماتنا وقالوا لي حرفياً ( راح نوديك ورا الشمس ) !! ولكن اراهن عليكم
@Hakeemq80: They tortured me for not turning myself in and for calling for protests. They told me “we will send you behind the sun” [a police expression in Arabic for threatening extreme punishment]. But I count on you.
ولكن اراهن عليكم يا أخوتي وعزوتي “البدون” بأنكم ماراح تخلون حقكم وأستمروا بحراكم السلمي ولا توقفكم تهديدات الاجهزة القمعية وترهيبهم لكم
@Hakeemq80: I count on you my Bedoon brothers. I bet you will not let go of your right and that you will keep your peaceful struggle. Do not let police oppression scare you.
The activists are set to meet a judge on the 26th of December for an appeal.