Mandatory medical tests for visitors soon: Obaidi – Court frees mother of suspected Islamic State militant

Health Minister Ali Al-Obaidi

Health Minister Ali Al-Obaidi

KUWAIT: Health Minister Ali Al-Obaidi said yesterday that the ministry plans to mandate visitors to the country to undergo medical examinations to prove they are free of some diseases. He said that the decision to enforce the tests is waiting for the approval of the Cabinet. The minister said that over 144,000 expatriates underwent medical tests after arriving in the country last year and that 308 of them were found to be carrying diseases. Expatriates must undergo medical tests for AIDS, hepatitis and malaria to be able to get residence permits in Kuwait.

Separately, the criminal court yesterday freed without bail the mother of Abu Turab, a suspected fighter with the Islamic State group, after she pleaded not guilty of being a member of the “terror” group. But judge Mohammad Al-Duaij slapped a travel ban on Hessa, who told the court yesterday that she went to Turkey and then to Syria to bring her son back to the country.

The interior ministry announced earlier this month the busting of three cells allegedly linked to Islamic State, one of them a cell comprising the mother and son. The ministry said they had managed to bring the mother and the son back to Kuwait in an unspecified operation. But the duo told the court last week and yesterday that they managed to escape from Islamic State in eastern Syria and return to Turkey, where they informed authorities in Kuwait.

Abu Turab reportedly cut short his university studies in Britain to join the Islamic State after his younger brother was killed while fighting for the group in Iraq. He however told the court that he did not participate in any fighting for the group and that he only managed the oil facilities. The court set the next hearing for Sept 20 to hear the testimony of the security officer who arrested the two.

Meanwhile, head of the National Assembly public funds protection committee MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji said yesterday the panel found contradictions between the ministries of interior and commerce and the agricultural authority regarding violations in the allocation of several state-owned farmlands. He said the committee will contact the concerned ministers to resolve the contradictions, adding that the panel found that a citizen had illegally obtained 135 commercial licenses to be able to obtain more farmland and that officials in the commerce ministry and the agricultural authority appear to have assisted him.

By B Izzak

This article was published on 26/07/2016