KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior deports around 100 housemaids from the Deportation Cell daily; while the number of repeat offenders has declined by 15 percent — an indication that the rehabilitation and correctional institutions have been performing their duties well, says Human Rights Committee Chairman in the Parliament MP Faisal Duwaisan.
Duwaisan made the announcement Sunday after the fourth meeting of the committee with representatives of the Interior and Justice ministries, during which they discussed results of the panel’s recent visit to the Central Prison and Women Deportation Cell.
He disclosed the committee will ask the Parliament to allocate two hours of the next session to tackle this visit. During the visit, the committee found a large number of Africans; especially Ethiopian maids in the Deportation Cell, since many Kuwait families have terminated the services of maids of this nationality due to the rising number of Ethiopians involved in murder cases.
He added the State Security prisoners, who embraced extremist ideas, will be required to undergo a rehabilitation program to be eligible for the Amiri pardon. He also unveiled the committee’s plan to travel next week to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) in Geneva to study the importance of independent human rights institutions. He pointed out that in 2010, the government promised former Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Dr Mohammad Al-Afasi that it will establish an independent authority for human rights but no concrete step has been taken until now.
On the interpellation request against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak, Al-Duwaisan said he has yet to read the motion; asserting he will express his political and legal opinions during discussion of the request inside Abdullah Al- Salem Hall on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Parliament Secretary MP Yakoub Al-Sanei has outrightly rejected the term ‘killing of the interpellation’ used by some MPs. He revealed the Parliament Office had already affirmed that the Constitution and parliamentary bylaws will be applied on everyone.
Al-Sanei argued the interpellation request is supposed to be submitted against the concerned minister as per decision of the Constitutional Court, as well as the stipulations of the Constitution and bylaws of the legislature. He pointed out the points in the recent grilling request against the prime minister fall under the jurisdiction of many ministers and the Constitutional Court had stressed that the premier must be grilled only on the State’s general policy. He claimed the request was written with hidden motives because it contains constitutional ambiguities. He vehemently denied claims made by some MPs that the legislature ‘killed’ the interpellation because it is in the ‘pocket’ of the government. He urged any constitutional expert with proof on the constitutionality of the request to present the evidence. He noted all the grilling points are part of the responsibilities of other ministers, except the announcement made by a lawmaker that he received money from the prime minister.
Commenting on the same issue, MP Safa Al-Hashem asked the premier to stand on the grilling podium; otherwise, he should submit his resignation quietly and peacefully. She asserted some ruling family members are more capable than the prime minister and they do not have to be descendants of HH the late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Kabeer. In the meantime, MP Riyadh Al-Adsani said a few of his colleagues voiced strong objection to the grilling right after the submission of the request and some of them even went as far as protecting the prime minister. He wondered who appointed these MPs as lawyers for the premier. He stressed none of the grilling points is unconstitutional as his main goal is to know why the country is moving backwards in spite of the huge budgetary surplus. Reacting to MP Abdullah Al-Tamimi’s recent statement that lawmakers should not interfere in ruling family disputes, Al- Adsani said if his colleague thinks the sheikhs of the ruling family are above him; then, he thinks otherwise. “We are all on the same line, with the exception of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. No one is above the law, even if he is ruling family member or an ordinary citizen,” he added.
On Al-Tamimi’s claim that other MPs have received money from the prime minister, Al-Adsani urged him to reveal the names of these MPs or he will be regarded a liar. He pointed out if the premier grants money to a lawmaker for whatever reason; the act is enough reason for him to leave his post. Moreover, MP Saleh Ashour said it is unacceptable that some MPs keep on talking on behalf of the government because the latter should defend itself. He lamented some of his colleagues are damaging the reputation of the Parliament and its members by defending the prime minister; especially since every lawmaker has the right to grill erring members of the government.
The lawmaker said the government has no choice but to face the interpellation and leave the judgment to political figures, MPs and the media; while rejecting the idea of referring the motion to the Legal and Legislative Committee. On another issue, Al-Sane confirmed that Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Abdul-Mohsen Al-Modej has informed the Legal and Legislative Committee in the Parliament about the need for a grace period to complete a memo on the constitutional flaws found in the proposed amendments to the Capital Markets Authority. He said the minister promised to present the memo on Thursday for the committee to refer its report to its financial and economic counterpart. He warned against rushing into approving the proposal as such a move will not be beneficial to the country and its people.
By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim and Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff