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Writer detained on libel charges

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 4 March 2012 - ANHRI condemns the referral of Mohamed al-Melify to the Criminal Court on charges of “spreading false news that would divide the society”, “offending the Shiite Twelver doctrine”, and “libeling the MP Ahmed Lari”. On 12 February 2012, the public prosecution issued a decision to summon al-Melify. On 20 February, it decided to detain him pending investigation for 12 days in the Central Prison. The court fixed 12 March 2012 as the date for the first hearing of the case. On 3 March 2012, al-Melify released a communiqué from his cell in the Central Prison, fiercely condemning the Kuwaiti authorities, and especially the parliament for its silence over his case.

On a different note, the Criminal Court fixed 14 March 2012 for the first hearing of the case of Nasser Abel, blogger, on charges of “offending the identity of the Emir of Kuwait” on Twitter. The court also refused to release another Internet activist detained on charges of “offending a judge and the reputation of the judiciary” on Twitter as well. The verdict of this case is due on 6 March 2012.

“This trial is a blatant violation of freedom of opinion and expression as enshrined in the Kuwaiti constitution and international conventions ratified by Kuwait,” said ANHRI.

ANHRI calls on the Kuwaiti authorities to reconsider the trial of Mohamed al-Melify and to immediately release him.

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Case history

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