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KUWAIT CITY: Human rights conditions deteriorated in Kuwait last year as police used excessive force against protesters and the government clamped down on online activists, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.
The setback in the human rights situation came amid a bitter political crisis in the oil-rich Gulf state between the opposition and the government, HRW said in a statement.
“Kuwait’s political crisis had a negative impact on the country’s human rights record as security forces cracked down on protests and the government grew intolerant of dissident speech,” Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at HRW told a news conference.
Since mid-2012, prosecutors have charged at least 35 online activists and former MPs with speech-related crimes such as “offending the emir” and for posting remarks on Twitter or giving speeches during protests, HRW said.
“The government should reverse this trend in 2013, by dropping all speech-related charges against online activists and former members of parliament...,” said Houry.