Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Expat Female had her Feet Handcuffed, Head Split Open and was Beaten in Custody of Police

From the husband..

  "I am a UK citizen and am proud to live out here in Kuwait. I have met some wonderful, warm and remarkably talented people. The issue, for me, though, is the attitude of some in positions of power and control. My wife had been to an event watching the England vs Italy Euro 2012 game. She had been drinking wine - and this is illegal in Kuwait and I do not intend to argue that she wasn't in the wrong on this. What shocked me though was that, when stopped by police on the way home, her treatment was medieval in the extreme. Handcuffed by the ankles and dragged up the police station steps by her feet (splitting her head open and later requiring stitches), beaten so much that the doctor in the hospital insisted on taking detailed photo evidence. Her passport dissappeared in the police station and, bizarrely, her release was going to be conditional on supply of her passport.......

But we need to balance this by saying that this was the action of a few individuals. The desk officer when I arrived was a decent guy and the look of shame in his eyes was evident. The investigating officer was more concerned with not having the situation escalated - and I hope his internal investigations reflect the feeling of disgust he clearly felt with the treatment she had received in his care.

Not all people are good and not all are bad and we shouldn't paint a nation by a single brush stroke. My hope is that, those so called men who took pleasure in beating a defenseless woman, will look into themselves and their belief systems and realise that they are the reason Kuwait is ranked 76 (division 4) in the human rights league table - the same league as the Congo, Uganda etc.

But it will change, as evidenced by the Kuwaiti guy who arrived at the police station to secure her release. He paid the KD50 out of his own wallet and was offended when I insisted on re-embursing him. A truly decent individual and a glimmer of light for the future."

LWDLIK - Dear Anon, I am sad to hear about your wife, this is horrifying. I hope she is okay and recovering from this horrible incident. Thank you for sharing this story with us it could well help others. You didn't say if she was driving or if she was in a taxi. I do hope people, if imbibing, take a taxi only the driving is crazy and dangerous enough. Always wise for a woman to travel with a male companion late at night under these circumstances too. Her treatment was uncalled for and very cruel. It seems the kind Kuwaiti gentleman who helped you out was extremely embarrassed that his country folk could act so shamefully. 


  1. The majority of the people here, especially the younger generation are more practical and open minded, but there are those few out there that just make it horrible for everyone. Though I've never faced anything like this, the amount of red tape that expatriates have to cut through for even the simplest things, its just horrible and you feel so degraded!

    I'm sorry about what happened. Its just so sad and so inhumane!

    1. Thanks Layla for your comment I'm sure it will be appreciated. Agreed, it is made far too difficult for expats.

  2. AnonymousJune 26, 2012

    I am extremelly surprised with this incident...and very sorry or course.
    I am an old expat leaving here and is the fist time I hear something like this!
    Hopefully will be an isolated case.


  3. AnonymousJune 27, 2012

    Thank you all for your comments. The main thing to remember though is that we are guests here and that drinking alcohol is illegal - although most expats do it - it is still flaunting the laws here. I offer no defense on this. She had been in a taxi and was walking the short distance to the appartment at the time.

    My thoughts are to balance the overwhelming desire to pack up and return home with the memories of the many (100's) of truly wonderful Kuwaiti's I have met in my time here. I also need to move from a myopic view and think that these things happen only in Kuwait. Los Angeles, New York, London all have high profile cases where people in authority overstepped the mark (Rodney King?). Human rights issues are not local, they are international. My sadness with Kuwait though is that, if this was Los Angeles, New York, London - I would hire a lawyer and make a stand: but it just seems too difficult here and my options are to ignore and let the bruises heal (physical and psychological) or just go home.

    I only advertise this event because I feel that if a single person changes their thinking and behaviour the next time this situation occurs then progress is made and we are a step nearer the tipping point. To quote Ghandi:

    "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is not an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty" - and no - I'm not Indian, a hippy or a socialist :-)

    I first came to Kuwait as a scared young man in 1990 and I came back because I fell in love with the people here. I will not leave as a scared older man because of one terrible incident. When I look at my wife's bruises and stitches everything I have said above dissapates into understandable anger and this is why I found the Ghandi quote. I can be bigger than this - I just hope that a few guys in uniforms with handguns at their hips will learn the same lesson.

    1. You have a great attitude.. I have no doubt this will soon be a distant umpleasant memory. We can change them only how we choose to deal with the situation. I think your choice is admirable.

  4. AnonymousJune 27, 2012

    I am truly sorry for what happened and I sincerely hope and pray that your wife will recover both physically as well as emotionally from this incident.

    As the saying goes "Not all 05 fingers are the same" this is especially true when it comes to the Local Kuwaiti Populous not all are the same. The older pre-war generation whose kids today have kids of their own and have been raised with the same values as their grandparents are more prone towards being appreciative towards the expatriate community western or otherwise. It is the newer generation; I am talking about post 21st century generation that tend to move more over towards the I am Kuwaiti, this is MY country and I don’t give a damnn attitude.

    Most don’t even realize the value of this great country. How blessed they are with what enviable facilities the country showers them with. Forgive me when I say this for I say it without any outward malice towards anyone .Just stating a fact of everyday life witnessed by me here in Kuwait. The newer generation’s attitude towards expatriate’s leans more towards you are a worker, you are being paid, so shut the hell up and do as you are told. If you don’t like my attitude tuff!! GTFO from MY country!!

    Of course this also has varying shades wherein Asian expatriates are basically dirt. Labourers, drivers and maids if you will. I don’t blame them; for this is how they are raised to look at them. The older generations would teach their children that they were humans just like them; workers, house help yes; different in many ways yet human none the less and deserved to be treated with as much respect as one would expect himself. Western expats however tend to be treated with a different brush they are after all not labourers, drivers and maids. Lord knows they look better, dress better and even smell better at least that’s how the mentality goes.

    So the above rare incident aside where the young woman was hurt they tend to be treated with a little more respect.

    In the case of this topic the young man's wife was brutalized by most probably the same newer generation young immature rookies who just got out of the academy and were trying to prove something to the world. And very likely thought how lucky they were that they just happened to apprehend a western expat who had been drinking. Dreams of early promotions and rewards most likely clouded their ethical judgment on how to treat a female prisoner in handcuffs and leg irons. And again whatever transpired in the Police station from the embarrassed desk sergeant to the generous Kuwaiti who bailed her out was most likely due to the very fact that she was a westerner. Who had the issue escalated a little more would have ended up having an extremely strong embassy intervene on her behalf causing many heads to roll and utter embarrassment for the Police force and the KMOI.

    Had this happened to an Asian or an Arab woman I guarantee the results would have been far different. Forget embarrassment or even bail.. She most likely would have ended up spending a night or two in the lock up, later charged, convicted and finally blacklisted and deported back to her home country.

    So sir my deepest sympathies for what happened to your spouse. But I say thank the Lord that she was a westerner or at least married to one otherwise there would have been a different ending to this story.

  5. AnonymousJune 28, 2012

    I am curious --- is the wife a white Westerner?

    1. Interesting and pertinent question...We are all so very aware of the horrible discrimination here. Sometimes we see masquerading fake moslems and no Islam. Even among Kuwaitis themselves there is much discrimination - evident when suitors arrive for the young females. Wow! No wonder so many are left unmarried. For 'most' it is an unwritten rule that 'usually' Al Sabah only marry Al Sabah and other aslee Kuwaiti families (aslee being the rough equivalent, I suppose, to aristocracy), aslee marry aslee, junaiyat marry junaiyat, Shia marry Shia, bedouin marry bedouin, etc.. I will happy to see that all change. I have made my contribution to change already ;O)

  6. is the lady a white brit OR a colored (other than white) one ??? the color should make all the difference in the treatment you get where you go.

    1. Sadly this seems to matter in this country. Racism is rife :O(

  7. AnonymousJune 28, 2012

    It is in todays Arab Time's crime section. UK Woman Expat arrested for drunk driving..

    Apparently not only was she drunk but driving under the influence, driving reclessly endangering the lives of fellow motorists and she resisted arrest at the police station.

    Talk about damage control....Official Press release from KMOI

    She was not harmed by our Officers. She resisted arrest thats how she got hurt. We are not to blame. We were just doing our duty and arrested a felon who was drunk and dangerous.

  8. AnonymousJune 29, 2012

    Hi All. Yes she was in a Taxi. She doesn't even have a driving licence. The one car we had was with me and I wasn't at the event. An asbolute lie - not damage control - to even suggest she was driving. ps: she is white and, incidentally here on a tourist visa.

    1. If that's the case you need to take this further. I would approach the embassy for legal advice and get a lawyer. Thank you for sharing this with us and clarifying. Please give your wife a big hug from me. I'm horrified and saddened.

  9. AnonymousJune 29, 2012

    Sorry, can't let this one go and have found the article. It is either a seperate incident - or, if not, do the Police not know it would be very easy to prove that she doesn't drive out here and the car was with me. Shame on them!!

    UK woman held driving drunk: Securitymen from the Salmiya Police Station have arrested a British woman for driving under the influence of alcohol, reports Al-Shahed daily.
    According to security sources the woman was ordered to pull over for reckless driving and endangering the lives of other road users.
    However, she ignored police orders and continued driving. Police chased the woman and forced her to stop.
    When a police officer walked over to the car and demanded to see the documents of the woman behind the wheel, he got the smell of alcohol.
    Initial reports say the woman was high on alcohol. It has also been reported the woman resisted police when she reached the police station.

  10. AnonymousJune 30, 2012

    You need to take this further. You should enlist the help of your embassy - that's what they are here for after all - not just to organize functions and be a supply line for alcohol. If the doctor has photographic evidence what are you waiting for - doesn't your wife deserve your defense ? If this happened to me I would like to think my husband wouldnt stop till something was done.

  11. AnonymousJuly 01, 2012

    insult added to injury. they bought you and your wife off for 50 kd. ????? be a man and do the right thing. lest this will nag you even after death.

    FROM above .. "But it will change, as evidenced by the Kuwaiti guy who arrived at the police station to secure her release. He paid the KD50 out of his own wallet and was offended when I insisted on re-embursing him. A truly decent individual and a glimmer of light for the future."

    1. A tad blunt but agree with the gist of it. We are Brits after all - not accustomed to intimidation, bullying and injustice. It is what makes us so respected.

  12. AnonymousJuly 02, 2012

    gee whizz......as the woman in the middle of the shenannigans...a. i wasn't driving i was in a taxi...b. we are going to the hospital tomorrow to get my my stitches removed , i could could go from c to z here but thank you very much for lovely responses and I will at some point kick my husband in the derriere for making a thing of this , it was very VERY uncomfortable but lest we all forget, don't even smell of wine if the cops ask you a question!

    1. Hello there, thanx for commenting and from what you say sounds like you are already on the mend. Glad to hear it. Completely understand if you'd rather forget all about this nasty incident. Wish you the very best and am so relieved that the Kuwaiti gentleman that helped you out and then refused to be re-imbursed was around to assist. I hope your impression of Kuwait hasn't been all bad.

  13. AnonymousJuly 02, 2012

    A very sad story but a true reflection of how the police really are, separating the officers (i.e. the educated ones for who some are decent) from the enlisted police who are the ones we tend to deal with on a day to day basis.

    Corruption, no respect, rude, ignorant are just some terms that spring to mind.

    Wealth can bring many things in a short amount of time like fancy cars and nice clothes, but creating a more civilized environment where human rights are respected is not something that can be solved or addressed with money or wealth.

    This is a long list of complaints that puts one of the contries in teh world in teh same bracker as poor third world countries such as Uganada when human rights is being discussed.

    Very sad,


Always great to hear from you :O)