American Couple Sentenced To 20 Years In Kuwaiti Prison

February 10, 201638 Comments

A U.S. army veteran and her partner have been sentenced to more than 20 years in a Kuwaiti prison for trumped up charges of drug possession, according to her family.

“I believe it really had nothing to do with drugs because they had nothing illegal,” Michelle Jackson said of the sentences handed down to her daughter Monique Coverson and her partner Larissa Joseph. Instead, she believes that the steep punishment was a result of her daughter’s sexuality.

“I do believe it’s mostly their alternative lifestyle in a religious country that is so against same-sex relationships,” she told ThinkProgress in an interview.

According to information Jackson received through a friend of her daughter’s, police stormed into Coverson’s home in May. In a change.org petition her family created that now has nearly 85,000 signatures, Coverson’s sister Jasmine wrote that authorities fabricated charges after they were found to have K2.

Coverson’s mother told ThinkProgress that her daughter used drugs like K2 “occasionally,” but thinks the root of the arrest is her same-sex relationship.

The 32-year-old was stationed in Kuwait during her years in the army, and then stayed on as a military contractor. Before she was arrested, Coverson worked in the country’s music industry, according to Jackson. Kuwait has stringent laws against drug use, although even hard drugs are readily available in the oil-rich nation.

The country carried out a crackdown against LGBT Kuwaitis and foreign nationals in the past, including a sweep that resulted in more than 200 arrests in 2013. Kuwait’s health ministry claimed to be developing a “gay detector test” meant to keep LGBT people out of the country.

Aside from one text message she managed to send from a fellow prisoner’s phone, Coverson hasn’t had direct contact with her family since she was arrested in May. Jackson waits on news of her daughter through her friends in Kuwait.

The U.S. government wasn’t aware of the arrests until Jackson reached out to the U.S. embassy in Kuwait to advocate for the release of Coverson and her partner.

monique-2

“The U.S. embassy didn’t even know she was sentenced until I contacted them,” she said, expressing disappointment. “I thought they are supposed to visit U.S. citizens whenever they are in captivity.”

Jackson has since called on supporters to send letters advocating for the women’s release to President Obama and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The Columbus, Georgia-based mother is determined to bring them both home.

Through her friend in Kuwait, Coverson told her mother that she loves her and that she shouldn’t give up on advocating for her release.

“I told her friend to tell her never as long as I have breath,” Jackson said.

Source : ThinkProgress

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Comments (38)

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  1. Lol, keep that gay shit where its accepted and seen as okay…not every country is with allowing what IS WRONG to happen as if its the right thing like the United States. They dont want their children growing up thinking being with, having sex with, and marrying the same gender is okay! Its mental insanity, and a medical mental condition when you look between your legs and think your opposite.

    "KEEP THAT SHIT WHERE IT IS ACCEPTED" by: G. Pizzaro

  2. Pit Deben says:

    Adam Mick American? haha you live in a fascist country. Your cops kill its own people everyday, your jails are overflowing with people who just smoke weed, you start wars all over the world. You claim to be the land of the free? PLEASE! Just look at the idiots running the country, i mean you guys did vote for them, says something about you guys! You have no history, no culture! Thank you but i prefer being italian and a proud european.

  3. Adam Mick says:

    Bonnie Muaili just be happy we allow your country to exist…

  4. U cant choose wat my countrys rules r .. The gay shit is not even looked at but it is also a crime in my country and i believe it as a crime .. Its not my fault they were at the wrong place in the wrong time .. Plus they didnt get convicted for 18 years americans get away from this shit easily

  5. Adam Mick says:

    Bonnie Muaili you both are right in a way and i am an American prick, but 18 years for synthetic weed is a little rough and im sure are very tame considering harsher crimes..i personally believe that being gay went into the desision when sentenced…they are at fault, but you all need to get with the times and demand it or you will face criticism from developed more progessive nations. This kinda stuff is what American people hear about that leaves them apathetic when we invade to steal oil from you..

  6. Adam Mick fuck ur american country that wanna steal our oil for free .. If drugs is illegal in ur country and i get arrested would u say fuck ur law? Or jus becuz we r a smaller country we shouldnt control those crazy american mofos that works in our country

  7. Death penalty is for big ass giant drug dealers that hold loads of cash, drugs and has gang members working for them and would be recieving that punishment after couple times of doin time in prison and they wont change

  8. Im all for the gay community but you cant be a drug dealer then have your family claim its because of your sexuality that you were arrested. And actually, 20 years is pretty lenient. For importing it alone, its the death penalty. Let alone importing, with the intent to distribute. I was contacted for this case to pass it to my friend or her firm. So i know the grimey details.

  9. And yet the LBGT community is so tolerant of Muslims…

  10. What is interesting is that foreigners come to America and expect us to bend for their beliefs and religion, which we have done by allowing them to take over everything. However, everyone is saying "obey other country laws". Which yes i completely agree but some sound to be hypocritical.

  11. Adam Mick says:

    Mishari Al-Anjari if you were American, you would understand. Maybe one day you will be…if your lucky enough

  12. Why don't people get it, if you break the law you pay the price!

  13. What on earth were they thinking?

  14. Looks like someone should be a patient where they work

  15. Adam Mick says:

    American citizens arent like other citizens..we should bring them back..Fuck kuwaiti laws, why do u have military contractors in your country?

  16. Jimmy D. O'Mara answering those crazy people.. It gets them feeling their selfish.

  17. Same as being an Arab and go on a killing spree in california? ?

  18. Same as being an Arab and go on a killing spree in california? ?

  19. "oh she used the drug occasionally, but she was arrested because she is GAY." It is a foriegn country, and being an American doesn't mean you get to ignore the laws. Stupid entitled people…

  20. I don't feel bad for them..I lived there 7 years doing some crazy shit and still managed to stay out of trouble so whatever they were doing they had to have been purposely drawing attention to themselves. Kuwait tries to be open minded about somethings but at the end of the day it's a religious country and expats shouldn't be acting like they run the place when they aren't even in their own country to begin with.

  21. I lived there for 5 years and never had a problem. Follow the law and you have no problem. We as Americans can't go there and force our beliefs on them and expect them to be all right with it. I don't feel sorry at all.

  22. I lived there for 5 years and never had a problem. Follow the law and you have no problem. We as Americans can't go there and force our beliefs on them and expect them to be all right with it. I don't feel sorry at all.

  23. I lived there for 5 years and never had a problem. Follow the law and you have no problem. We as Americans can't go there and force our beliefs on them and expect them to be all right with it. I don't feel sorry at all.

  24. Their life, their choose, their sentence, their problem

  25. My dear readers it's Islamic country I'm here from 1994 no even one hurt me by police or any other one I respect laws of res lo ected country where ii came to work so not to do illegal practice

  26. The thing is yes drugs are available but doesn't make it legal! Still gotta follow the law as for the LBGT community saying this and that. The amount of gay and lesbian Kuwaitis is quite high so the country is more open to that than you'd think and the government isn't shy to put that in the charges.

  27. They will be out soon, it's people that has done worst then them and was out in a few months!!

  28. She was supposed to respect the law y to go against the law do Americans let go if someone violates their law of course not than stay in prison u bitch

  29. You must respect the law of this land

  30. Kuwaitup2date looks less news and more advertising page.

  31. death penalty is not used as much, but is only used on people who kill other people, pedophiles, and rapisist.

  32. I don't feel a bit sorry for these ladies. While in Kuwait you are expected to be like ambassaders to the United States and must conduct yourself accordingly. Get use to the lamb and rice on a daily basis. Why is it that when lawbreakers outside the US cry for help via the Fed Government to get them out of their punishment? The Embassy of the US is aware that they were there. It's just their way of showing that you do the crime do the time. After all, the penalty for drugs there is Death.

  33. U break a law…
    U get punished…
    Respect the law of country..
    Being american dosent save u

  34. I lived in Q8 for 13 years, I respected and obeyed the laws and had no problems what so ever!
    Ignorance of the law is no defense!

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