English PEN shares PEN International’s concerns about the two-year prison sentence handed down to Kuwaiti blogger Rashid al-Anzi on 6 January 2013 and journalist Ayyad al-Harbi on 9 January 2013.
According to our information, the writers were convicted in two separate cases for “insulting the ruling family” in comments posted on Twitter. For more information, please see the PEN International website.
PEN considers that Rashid al-Anzi and Ayyad al-Harbi have been targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Kuwait is a party. We are therefore calling on the Kuwaiti authorities to release both men immediately and unconditionally, and to take all necessary steps to guarantee their safety and protection while in detention.
Please send appeals:
- Protesting the detention of journalist Ayyad al-Harbi and blogger Rashid al-Anzi solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to free expression;
- Calling for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Kuwait is a signatory;
- Seeking guarantees that they will be protected while in detention;
- Urging the Kuwaiti authorities to stop using charges of insulting the ruling family to stifle freedom of expression.
His Excellency Mr. Khaled Al-Duwaisan
Embassy of the State of Kuwait
Hyde Park House
London SW1X 7JX
Fax: 020 7823 1712
His Highness Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah
Emir of the State of Kuwait
Fax: +965 539 3069