HRW blasts violence on Kuwait protesters

Dec. 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM
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KUWAIT CITY, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- An international human rights group Thursday called for punishment of those responsible for violence against anti-government protesters in Kuwait.

Human Rights Watch said in a release that Kuwaiti security forces used what appeared to be excessive force against protesters several times since October.

While the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry has said police actions against rock-throwing protesters who blocked traffic, Human Rights Watch officials said their interviews of more than 20 protest organizers, participants, witnesses and rights activists painted a different picture. They said masked riot police used tear gas and sound bombs to disperse demonstrations and beat protesters they arrested.

"There is no justification for attacking peaceful protesters," said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director for Human Rights Watch. "The authorities should show they will not tolerate abuses by investigating all allegations of abuse by security forces and punishing those responsible for violating rights."

The group said people have the right to assemble peacefully and if force is required to stop violence by demonstrators police should use the least amount of force possible.

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