According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 30-year-old Talaal Adree, has been imprisoned in a Kuwaiti gaol for three months after being arrested during a security sweep of Kuwait City.
His mother and brother claim the Kuwait-born Australian has been tortured, and that two Westerners, possibly Australians, were present during one interrogation session.
“He is a very tired man, he cannot sleep at night. He is in extreme pain, and the saddest thing of all is that the Australian government has abandoned him,” Mr Adree’s brother, Fahad al-Saad, told the ABC.
It is claimed Mr Adree made frequent attempts to speak with Australian diplomats in Kuwait, and even wrote them a letter pleading for assistance.
“I am surprised as to the embassy’s outlook at my matter and enquiries knowing that I was severely beaten and abused a lot,” a letter by Mr Adree reportedly read.
Mr Adree’s family claims he told them that once while he was being interrogated his blindfold slipped as he was beaten, allowing him a glimpse of two Western men who he said had Australian accents.
“There’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest an Australian has seen Mr Adree, in fact that’s what we’ve been working to achieve,” parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs, Bruce Billson, told the Nine Network.
“We’ve made 16 approaches to Kuwaiti authorities, both in Kuwait itself and here in Australia, pressing for access to see him, and to see whether he’s being treated in accordance with Kuwaiti law,” Mr Billson said in an interview with the ABC.
“At this stage, we don’t know what he’s been charged with, if he’s in fact been charged at all and therefore we’re not sure what the sentence may be if he’s found guilty.”
Mr Ardee’s lawyer, Mohammad Al Monawir, told the ABC his client has been accused of joining a terrorist organisation and handling weapons and explosives.
Prosecutors have reportedly asked for the death penalty.
Mr Billson said he was hopeful that access to Mr Adree will soon be allowed after a meeting with Kuwait’s interior minister, Sheik Nawwaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah.