- Kuwait Times Extra
I love when people do what they preach. And I find it strange when people say something and actually do the opposite at an 180-degree angle. Where am I heading with this? Yesterday Victoria Nuland, the spokesperson of the US State Department, urged Kuwait to respect freedom of speech. She was quoted as saying: “We call on the government of Kuwait to adhere to its tradition of respect for freedom of assembly, association, and expression”.
Actually, our freedom is protected by the constitution in Kuwait. According to the constitution, you are not allowed to insult the entity of His Highness the Amir. That is not related to freedom of speech or writing. As for the verdicts that you refer to, they came about as a result of a trial by the independent judiciary in Kuwait. Kuwait has enjoyed freedom of expression for many years. This freedom has made Kuwait a standout in the Arab world, especially in the Gulf. The exception of course is Lebanon, which entertains more freedom.
Excuse me Ms Nuland, could you enlighten me about freedom of expression and speech in your country? For instance, if you go back a couple of years, how long did it take for Al-Jazeera to step on American soil? Could you also enlighten me about how you managed to silence the Occupy Wall Street protestors? I think the pictures and the treatment by the police before everyone went silent were pretty obvious and self-explanatory.
Please, please, please tell us when are you going to allow the Guantanamo detainees to be trialed in a court of law in your country? I think they have waited for over 12 years now. Do not tell me that you don’t have a court that can do the litigations – be it a military or civil court. Please, do it! It is high time. In all fairness, if these detainees were treated on the same basis of any American citizen and applying the constitution of the country, they could sue you – regardless if they are guilty or not. What about the law you adopted on terrorism? Many people were pulled in the middle of the night from their homes without proper explanation and court orders. Is that the freedom you mean?
Please, Mr Obama! I beg of you. This is your second term in office. Give yourself two minutes over the issue of the Guantanamo detainees. As far as I remember, you promised to close down the facility before entering the White House. The United States has been known for its fair rules and human rights.
You are the land of the free. Please, keep that up!
By Badrya Darwish
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