The Citizen does not often delve into international affairs, save when it concerns American and/or Catholic interests. The recent arrest of a Kuwaiti political reformer is a story that most media outlets will not bother to cover – but it is in many ways, a story important to all Americans.
The Citizen has enclosed a PDF document detailing this young man’s story. In short, he is a Kuwaiti national who studied political science and international affairs at the University of Hartford. He then took his expertise and education home, to become a rising leader in a reform organization known as the National Democratic Alliance. Last November, he spoke critically of the Prime Minister over questionable expenses, lack of accountability, and possible misuse of public funds. The government charged and convicted him with the crime of offending the Prime Minister. His sentence is three months.
Three months. For demanding accountability in government. Some 234 years ago last week, a group of reformers risked everything – their wealth, their station, their freedom, their very lives. The result was the United States . Khaled is one of many people fighting for some of the same basic rights we take for granted in this nation. Accountability. Woman suffrage – a fight that was won in 2005 in Kuwait. Election reform. Transparent government. Elimination of systems that foster corruption. This is a crime? It is in Kuwait .
From an article in the Kuwaiti Times, Khaled is not standing alone. It seems that his actions has drawn widespread support from a number of parties representing a spectrum of ideologies. This bodes well for democratic principles in Kuwait .
What can we do? Write a letter to the Editor. More importantly, call your congressional delegation. Demand that they contact the State Department. It wasn’t that long ago that the United States led a coalition in a war to free Kuwait from Iraq . While the Citizen understands that not every nation is going to operate the same way the United States works – this is why we are unique among all the nations of the world – Kuwait claims to be a constitutional monarchy. A nation that operates under the rule of law and not the fiat of a prince, king, or emir. I guess the Prime Minister is another story.
As citizens of a constitutional republic that espouses democratic principles of justice, liberty, and the rule of law, we must support those who seek to bring these virtues to their own nations. This gentleman is fighting for principles that we have long taken for granted. Let us remember the sacrifices that our forefathers made to win us liberty and honor them by supporting those who have taken up the torch of liberty in their own nations.
May God watch over this young man and his nation.