Kuwaiti security agents kidnap and imprison own officer in ‘cold lock-up’

The incident has led to renewed calls for the Interior Minister to step down

Nojoud Sajdi
Friday 14 January 2022 13:13
<p>Kuwait City's al-Hamra tower (R), the headquarters of The National Bank of Kuwait (C) and the al-Rayah tower (L), caught in heavy fog</p>

Kuwait City's al-Hamra tower (R), the headquarters of The National Bank of Kuwait (C) and the al-Rayah tower (L), caught in heavy fog

This article first appeared in our partner site, Independent Arabia

Kuwaiti state security agents affiliated with the Ministry of Interior are being investigated for kidnapping and torturing a senior officer, the ministry confirmed in a statement to Independent Arabia.

The ministry refused to provide further details, only stating that the suspects were being investigated.

According to local newspaper Al-Qabas, the officer was reportedly imprisoned in a cold lock-up until he lost consciousness, and agents told investigators that their actions were “in line with customary military procedures” used to extract confessions from suspects.

The security agents further said that senior officers at the State Security service were aware of the incident, the newspaper added, raising questions about Interior Minister Sheikh Thamer Al-Salem Al-Sabah’s political future.

Abdul Karim Al-Kandari, a member of Kuwait’s National Assembly, posted a statement on Twitter addressed to the interior minister, "A citizen has been tortured in State Security, and there is a statement from the head of the National Office for Human Rights pointing to crimes of torture in police stations."

"I am waiting for you [the Interior Minister] to take action on these issues and to assume the responsibility that you swore to abide by, and that is to protect people’s freedom," he added.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti lawyer Imad Al-Seif, stated that “reports about the torture of an officer in the State Security department have been damaging and detrimental to the reputation of the services and the state.” He called for a “serious and transparent investigation.”

Another Kuwaiti took to Twitter to denounce the incident, stating that “what happened, if true, violates Article 31 of Kuwait’s constitution,” because “the State Security is meant to protect people from danger not to intimidate them.”

Reviewed and proofread by Tooba Ali and Celine Assaf

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