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Kuwaiti Authorities Torture Migrant Workers to Death

On March 12, 2011

Two separate instances of Kuwaiti policemen and Ministry of Defense officials torturing migrant workers to death have surfaced in recent days.

The first report from March 10th describes how three Kuwait sponsors and two policemen tortured to death an unidentified Asian man. The Kuwait sponsors captured and "mercilessly beat" the man and then handed him over to the police, accusing him of setting fire and robbing their farms. During his "interrogation" by the police, the worker collapsed and died due to torture. The Kuwaiti men and the policemen were questioned following this death.

The second case, which was reported yesterday involves the kidnapping and brutal torture of an unidentified Indonesian woman by two brothers who serve at the Ministry of Defense. The women was found in a pool of blood in Riqqa with signs of cigarette burns on her body. According to the police, the woman jumped to her death from the sixth floor preferring death over continuing to endure the sexual and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of the Kuwaiti men. The brothers were interrogated by the Public Prosecutor and admitted to their crimes.

Unfortunately, abuse of migrants by police are not unique in Kuwait. Recently, the Court of Appeals acquitted a policemen of torturing and raping two Filipinas. In April 2010 we've documented a previous case of kidnapping and raping of an Indonesian maid by a Kuwait police officer. In January 2010 a police officer in Kuwait admitted to raping women migrant workers for 15 years and then sending them off to the deportation center. On November 29, 2009 the Arab Times reported about the case of two maids who were kidnapped and gang-raped by a policemen and his friend and then sent to the deportation center. These reports illustrate how Kuwait state officials are able to abuse migrants with impunity. In these cases and many unreported ones the Kuwaiti police, which is supposed to protect abused workers, turns into another mechanism of oppression.