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Kuwait: Search is on for a man accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl in Salwa on Saturday. In her statement to the police, the 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl said that her friend, a 20-year-old Palestinian national, raped her in her room after he came over to visit at dawn. The man reportedly sneaked into the house on an invitation from the girl. She added that the man escaped after she screamed for help. She then told her father about what had happened before the two headed to the area’s police station to report the case. Investigations were on.

KUWAIT: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) called on travelers to cooperate with authorities operating at Kuwait International Airport to allow them to provide best service during the holy month of Ramadan and the travel season. Travelers should check validity of their passports and visas and must arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of departure time, Director of Operations’ Department at Kuwait International Airport Essam Al-Zamel said yesterday. In the statement, he stressed importance of complying with weights and sizes of luggage allowed and not to carry prohibited and hazardous substances such as compressed gas, solvents, explosives, fireworks, flammable materials and oxidizing, magnetic and toxic substances.

The DGCA is ready to receive suggestions and observations through the airport comptroller office located at the departure lounge, Al-Zamel noted. On administrating flight operations during the summer, the Operation Deptartment Director said that extra flights are running during this season and the holy month of Ramadan, expecting the percentage of travelers before Ramadan to reach 25 and 75 percent at the end of it. The operation department has formed teams to provide assistance to ensure smooth flow of traffic, regulate passengers entry, follow up on departure and arrival of flights without delay, Al-Zamel noted, adding that during this season, the most sought destinations are to Beirut, Dubai, Istanbul, Jeddah and Alexandria. —-KUNA

KUWAIT CITY: Ahmadi securitymen arrested 80 individuals from a market in Mahboula area during a security campaign that Ahmadi Security Directorate launched in coordination with the Ahmadi Municipality and under the supervision of Ahmadi Security Director Brigadier Matouq Al-Aslawi.


According to security sources, 15 officers in civilian clothes initially observed the market where fruits, vegetables, fish, clothes, perfumes, military uniforms and electronics were being sold. After noticing a number of violations, they summoned ten patrol officers to the market. They arrested 35 shop owners; one among them was selling military uniforms. They also arrested 45 individuals who were unable to present their identification documents during checking. All arrested individuals were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action against them. Ahmadi Municipality confiscated the clothes, vegetables and other items that were being illegally sold.

Ahmadi Security Directorate affirmed that they will continue to launch such security campaigns in all areas within the governorate in coordination with all departments affiliated to the Public Security sector and other authorities.

In this week’s online survey, Arab Times asked voters their opinion on how the ongoing police checks be made more humane and expatriate-friendly.

Two points won the most votes. 32 percent said that authorities must release a list of clearly stated do’s and don’ts to be observed by expatriates. Speaking to the Arab Times, respondents said that they are not sure of what to keep and what to avoid, as the list of violations are growing by the day by word of mouth.
The latest in the list of the big No’s are Net phones. “We knew that VOIP calls were banned, but even applications like Viber and Whatsapp seem to be prohibited now. This is causing a lot of confusion.”
Others were complaining about the traffic checks. “We are not sure of what are the things that are liable to fine.” There were loose stories of motorists getting a ticket because their car windows were not working. 

Another 32 percent of the voters condemned the random raids at apartments. “We are living in fear with our families. We have children, and we don’t want cops to be coming into our houses at night and checking every nook and corner for illegal maids or bachelors sharing the flat.

All the respondents believed that the police had no authority to search a flat without a warrant. “We think that it is still the law, and we don’t know how the policemen are searching houses randomly.”

Respondents said it looks like the policemen have been given secret orders to carry on such searches as issuing a warrant for every dubious flat could be practically impossible. “We know it’s fine balancing act to do; however, there’s no justification for harassing innocent, law-abiding expatriates for a few residence violators.”

Fourteen percent of the voters felt that expatriates must be given the right to complain against policemen who cross their limits. However, many respondents noted that this is easier said than done. “This right is already there. But the problem lies in their application.”

Many respondents felt that they distrust the authorities to act on their complaints, and a sizeable number even feared that they might get victimized in the bargain. “We don’t have the courage to complain against a policeman.’

Some people stressed on the need for a higher authority that is set up exclusively to defend the rights and interests of expatriates. “Such a body would infuse confidence in us to complain against excesses committed by policemen.”

About 13 percent of the voters suggested the need for capturing every police operation on camera to ensure that everything is fair and square. “This is the norm in most developed countries. When there’s video footage which can be provided as evidence in court, the officers will be more conscious of their responsibilities and limits.”

Eight percent said that vehicles with proper drafters (registration cards), which is proof that the vehicle have passed the fitness test, must not be subject to further tests, such as smoke detection and so forth.

KUWAIT: “Visitors, in accordance with article 14, who still have some disputes with their sponsors or the companies that invited them, and whose cases are still being discussed at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor or in the local courts and who have been given one to three months worth temporary residency visas till they reach settlements are advised not to leave before the settlement,” MOI’s assistant undersecretary for citizenship and passports affairs, Major General Sheikh Faisal Nawaf Al-Sabah said.

He said the departure would lead to cancellation of the temporary residency and such people will not be allowed back into the country except on the basis of new visas. Sheikh Faisal also said that several organizational measures have been taken to straighten out and solve the problems accruing due to visa violations while, at the same time, efforts are on to protect the rights of both expats and sponsors, without any exception.

KUWAIT: Kuwait Municipality has intensified its inspection of food shops, supermarkets and stores aimed at punishing violators in various areas in Kuwaiti Governorates, ahead of incoming holy month of Ramadan. Emergency teams and regulatory bodies of the municipality of Mubarak Al- Kabeer continue to follow-up on itinerary of the food until they reach the consumer, in addition to checking all health requirements, Director of the Municipality Mubarak Al-Kabeer branch Sherida Al-Mutairi said yesterday.

Al-Mutairi added that the inspection campaigns carried out yesterday on supermarkets and cooperative societies were aimed at taking random samples from a number of food products. One of the food products, after being tested at the laboratory and found unsuitable for human consumption, was taken out of the shelves. The tours resulted in closing an unlicensed food store and demolishing 100 kilograms of cheese, olives and thyme, he said.

Moreover, citations were issued against a store that was opened ahead of obtaining approval of the municipality and for unhealthy food packaging. For his part, the head of the emergency team in the municipality of the province, Abdullah Al- Amaie, said “health and safety of consumers would remain above all other consideration,” and affirmed that these missions would not be restricted to specific locations or timing.

He also stressed on commitment by all regulations and municipal laws in order to avoid legal accountability, pointing out that the teams would also look out for anyone trying to tamper with the health and safety of consumers through intensive inspection campaigns, which will include all food shops as well as vendors. The municipality called on consumers to check products’ expiry date before buying, and contact the municipal hot line (139) for any complaint.— KUNA

KUWAIT: Elections are likely to be held on July 20, less than two weeks into Ramadan, according to a government insider, who said a decree calling for Kuwaitis to head to the polls could be issued as early as next Sunday. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was quoted by Al-Qabas daily, which also indicated that most members of the liberal National Democratic Forum, as well as the Awazem and Ajman tribes, who boycotted last December’s polls, are expected to take part in the upcoming elections.

On the other hand, members of the oppositionist Popular Action Movement and the Islamic Constitutional Movement, along with most members of the Salafist Islamic Assembly, have announced plans to boycott the upcoming elections in protest against the single- vote system that the Constitutional Court upheld on Sunday. “Our decision to boycott the elections is based on principle and reflects our belief that the constitution must be the reference, and the ruling regime must never be autocratic,” leading ICM member Mubarak Al-Duwailah told Al-Qabas.

While the constitutional court upheld HH the Amir’s right to issue emergency decrees in the absence of a parliament, based on his assessment of the state of urgency, decisions to boycott the elections are mostly based on the idea that amending the electoral system outside the parliament infringes on people’s right to determine the course of the House of their representatives. “Former MPs Khalid Al-Sultan, Mohammad Al-Kandari and I reiterate our position to avoid taking part in an assembly that lacks decision-making powers and is subjected to the executive authority’s decisions,” said former MP Abdullah Al-Omairi, reflecting part of the Safalist movement’s opinions.

Meanwhile, fellow Salafist politician and former MP Ali Al-Omair stated that running for the parliament became “necessary” after the court’s ruling. The chief of the Awazem tribe, Falah bin Jame’a, told Al- Qabas that tribal leaders were planning to hold a meeting within a week in order to determine their position with regard to the upcoming elections. He pointed out that the tribesmen had “no disputes” with other sectors and were “in harmony with the Kuwaiti people.” In the meantime, a parliament insider told Al-Qabas that between 17 and 22 MPs of the recently annulled parliament are not planning to run again, making it almost certain that at least 50 percent of the upcoming parliament will be new members.

In a related note, Al-Rai daily reported that members of the annulled parliament have discussed the possibility of putting pressure on the prime minister to avoid a scenario that sees him provide support to former MPs Mohammad Al-Saqr and Marzouq Al-Ghanim, should any of them run for speaker.

This was revealed by sources familiar with a meeting hosted by Yaqoub Al-Sane recently, which was attended by 17 members of the annulled parliament, including its speaker, Ali Al-Rashid. Meanwhile, Al-Saqr told Al-Rai that he had yet to decide whether to contest in the upcoming elections. Separately, Director of the Elections Department in the Ministry of Interior Colonel Mohammad Al-Adwani told Al-Anba that around 439,000 Kuwaitis are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections.

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