Man arrested in Kuwait for complaining about the weather
Kuwaiti police have arrested a resident, an Egyptian, for posting a video online in which he rages about bad weather and dust storms.
The arrest underscored the country’s speech restrictions and sparked criticism on social media over his detention.
Kuwait’s interior ministry said the person behind the “offensive” video had been arrested and brought to the authorities, who “would take necessary legal action against him.”
In a dash cam video posted to social media app TikTok, the man can be heard complaining about the blinding sandstorm that has engulfed Kuwait in recent days.
“I’m in a dust storm right now, literally can’t see anything in front of me,” the man said, pointing to the dust covering the road like thick fog.
“Alright, Kuwait, alright,” he adds, with a curse in Arabic.
The clip went viral on Twitter, racking up tens of thousands of views.
Some social media users, who saw the arrest as a sign of Kuwait’s crackdown on free speech and mistreatment of migrant workers, showed their support for the Egyptian by posting their own videos insulting the weather.
In a region full of governments hostile to freedom of expression, the Arab state of the Gulf of Kuwait is distinguished by its Frankish parliament and relatively vibrant civic life.
However, authorities regularly use the cybercrime law to control critics and prosecute dissidents.
The little sheikh, who like others in the Persian Gulf depends on the work of millions of poorly paid migrants from Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, is often the subject of criticism from the on behalf of human rights groups for its treatment of foreign workers, who remain vulnerable to deportation for petty crimes.