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Alert: Kuwait - Arrest, forced-psychiatric detention of Kuwaiti academic following protest preparations

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Academic Dr Omran Mohammad Al Qarashi was arrested by Kuwaiti security forces following a peaceful demonstration.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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24 April 2008

Alert: Kuwait - Arrest, forced-psychiatric detention of Kuwaiti academic following protest preparations

1. Summary
2. Action required
3. Sample letters
4. Addresses for sample letters


1. Summary

On 10 April 2008, Kuwaiti academic Dr Omran Mohammad Al Qarashi was arrested by Kuwaiti security forces in front of the American Embassy following what was to be a peaceful demonstration protesting American support for Israel and its aggressions against the Palestinian people.

Reportedly, Al Qarashi, who was also to protest a certain religious scholar being denied re-entry into Kuwait, did not finish unfurling his banners before he was immediately arrested and taken to a police station for interrogation. After two hours of interrogation, Al Qarashi was then taken to a mental hospital, placed under compulsory-psychiatric detention and maltreated by being forced to receive various injections in spite of not suffering from any mental or psychological ailments. Al Qarashi, who has announced himself a candidate in the upcoming Kuwaiti parliamentary elections, believes the government is attempting to denigrate his mental standing before the public with his forced hospitalisation.

For the past 14 years, Dr Al Qarashi, who received his PhD from UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology), reportedly has had many run-ins with the Kuwaiti authorities on account of his outspoken political activism, having been arrested and placed in the psychiatric hospital 6 times, and is likewise banned from travel. Al Qarashi\'s family is calling on human rights organisations to intervene in his ongoing detention in the psychiatric hospital.


2. Action required

a) Write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in your country, urging him/her to investigate the above-mentioned incident and ongoing forced-psychiatric detention of Al Qarashi. Campaigners in the UK, US, Canada and Australia can use the addresses provided at the bottom.

b) Write to the Kuwaiti Ambassador in your country, urging him/her to her to investigate the above-mentioned incident and ongoing forced-psychiatric detention of Al Qarashi. Campaigners in the UK, US, Canada and Australia can use the addresses provided at the bottom.


3. Sample letters
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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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Sample letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs in your country (UK campaigners can use the address supplied)

[Your Name]
[Your Address]


[Date]

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Dear Mr. Miliband,

Re: Arrest and forced psychiatric detention of Kuwaiti academic following protest preparations

I am very concerned about the recent arrest and ongoing forced-psychiatric detention of Dr Omran Mohammad Al Qarashi in Kuwait, following what was to be a peaceful demonstration protesting American support for Israel and its aggressions against the Palestinian people.

The Kuwaiti academic, had not even unrolled his banners before security forces swiftly arrested him, taking him to the police station for interrogation. Following two hours of interrogation, Al Qarashi was then taken to a psychiatric hospital, placed under compulsory-psychiatric detention and forced to receive various injections in spite of him not suffering from any mental or psychological ailments. Al Qarashi believes the government is attempting, to denigrate his mental standing before the public as he has announced himself a candidate in the upcoming Kuwaiti parliamentary elections.

Since the early nineties, Dr Al Qarashi, who received his PhD from UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology), reportedly has been arrested and placed in the psychiatric hospital 6 times on account of his outspoken political activism. Al Qarashi is also banned from travel.

I request you to urge the Kuwaiti government to investigate this incident and the ongoing forced-psychiatric detention of Al Qarashi, who should either receive a fair trial or be released immediately from the hospital with full compensation for his maltreatment. Furthermore, please urge the Kuwaiti authorities to end their heavy-handed approach towards peaceful activists.

I look forward to hearing back from you soon regarding this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,


[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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Sample letter to Kuwaiti Ambassador in your country (UK campaigners can use the address supplied)


[Your Name]
[Your Address]


[Date]

HE Mr. Khaled Al-Duwaisan
Embassy of the State of Kuwait
2 Albert Gate SW1X 7JU

Your Excellency,

Re: Arrest and forced psychiatric detention of Kuwaiti academic following protest preparations

I am very concerned about the recent arrest and ongoing forced-psychiatric detention of Dr Omran Mohammad Al Qarashi in Kuwait, following what was to be a peaceful demonstration protesting American support for Israel and its aggressions against the Palestinian people.

The Kuwaiti academic, had not even unrolled his banners before security forces swiftly arrested him, taking him to the police station for interrogation. Following two hours of interrogation, Al Qarashi was then taken to a psychiatric hospital, placed under compulsory-psychiatric detention and forced to receive various injections in spite of him not suffering from any mental or psychological ailments. Al Qarashi believes the government is attempting, to denigrate his mental standing before the public as he has announced himself a candidate in the upcoming Kuwaiti parliamentary elections.

Since the early nineties, Dr Al Qarashi, who received his PhD from UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology), reportedly has been arrested and placed in the psychiatric hospital 6 times on account of his outspoken political activism. Al Qarashi is also banned from travel.

I request you to urge your government to investigate this incident and the ongoing forced-psychiatric detention of Al Qarashi, who should either receive a fair trial or be released immediately from the hospital with full compensation for his maltreatment. Furthermore, please urge Kuwaiti authorities to end their heavy-handed approach towards peaceful activists.

I look forward to your response on these matters.


Yours sincerely,


[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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4. Addresses for sample letters

a) Addresses for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

British campaigners can write to:

Rt. Hon. David Miliband MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Fax: +44 20 7839 2417
Email: private.office@fco.gov.uk


American campaigners can write to:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
U.S.A.


Canadian campaigners can write to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs - Maxime Bernier Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON,
Canada
K1A 0G2


Australian campaigners can write to:

Minister for Foreign Affairs - The Hon Stephen Smith MP PO Box 6022 House of Representatives Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

Fax: +61 (02) 6273 4112
Email: Stephen.Smith.MP@aph.gov.au


b) Addresses for the Kuwaiti Ambassadors in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

British campaigners can write to:

HE Mr. Khaled Al-Duwaisan
Embassy of the State of Kuwait
2 Albert Gate SW1X 7JU

Fax: +44 20 7823 1712


American campaigners can write to:

HE Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al-Sabah EMBASSY OF THE STATE OF KUWAIT
Chancery: 2940 TILDEN STREET, NW 20008
FAX +1 202-966-0517
U.S.A.


Canadian campaigners can write to:

HE Musaed Rashed A. Al-Haroun
Embassy of the State of Kuwait
333 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada, K1N 1J9

Fax: +1 (613) 780-9905
Email: info@embassyofkuwait.com


Australian campaigners can write to:

HE Mr Jamal Issa AL-GHUNAIM
Embassy of the State of Kuwait
PO Box 26
Woden ACT 2606
Australia

Fax: +61 (02) 6286 3733
Email: kuwaitcan_2002@yahoo.com.au


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