Call to free prisoners of conscience in GCC

May 17, 2014 - 2:30:15 am
The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates 

KUWAIT CITY: A Gulf rights group has called for the release of thousands of prisoners of conscience in the Gulf states as it marked what it called Gulf Detainees Day to highlight their plight.

“We call for the release of prisoners and detainees who have been put behind bars for simply expressing their opinion,” Anwar Al Rasheed, head of the Gulf Forum for Civil Societies, said on Thursday night.

Rasheed said there are “between 30,000 and 40,000 opinion prisoners and detainees,” in the Gulf Cooperation Council states.

He said the numbers are based on data compiled by Gulf rights activists, international organisations and rights groups.

Rasheed said his group has arranged with a number of lawyers from Europe and the United States to form a legal team to visit prisons in Gulf states when governments allow it.

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