Human Rights



Kuwait is a dictatorship where all political power is practically in the hands of the Emir. A National Assembly has limited powers, and can be suspended by the Emir. There are no political parties and neither women nor people of non-Kuwait ancestry have the right to vote.

There are scores of political prisoners in Kuwait, and prison conditions are often inhumane. There have been reports of torture and inhuman treatment of detainees, and some of those responsible have been prosecuted. Freedom of speech and the press is severely curtailed, and journalists have been sentenced to prison for criticizing the government or Islam. Most practice self-censorship. There is no freedom of assembly. The death penalty is applied.

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