MP Khaled Al-Shatti

By B Izzak

KUWAIT: Head of the National Assembly legal and legislative committee MP Khaled Al-Shatti yesterday defended his decision to combine three draft laws stipulating general amnesty for a number of Kuwaiti prisoners. Shatti’s action puts together opposition activists including several ex-MPs in jail for storming the national assembly building in 2011 and members of an Iran-linked cell who are serving years in jail for plotting attacks against Kuwait and possessing large quantities of arms.

Opposition lawmakers have insisted that the three draft laws should be discussed separately and the assembly is allowed to vote on each law alone and not together under the current format. Shatti charged his opponents that they are creating a dispute insisting that what he has done is in line with the constitution and existing laws. He insisted that Kuwaiti citizens are equal and must be treated equally as “you are not better than others and speaking about betrayal is rejected.”

Last week, two members of the committee walked out of the meeting after Shatti insisted to combine the three bills, saying that it was a deliberate move to block the pardon legislation. Shatti said that the case of the cell is better than storming the assembly, adding that he will not go back on the decision.

Meanwhile, MP Mohammad Al-Huwailah yesterday asked Health Minister Sheikh Basel Al-Sabah about measures the ministry has introduced to face the global outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. He asked the minister if the ministry has prepared a plan to face the virus at land, sea and air terminals and the steps to be followed to test possible infections. Huwailah asked if the ministry has started working to make available medicines or vaccines when they become available. The disease has already killed 80 people in China and infected some 3,000 around the world.

In the meantime, head of the assembly women affairs committee MP Safa Al-Hashem said yesterday the panel approved a draft law for domestic violence which calls for setting up a special fund for victims of domestic violence and also provides legal protection for those who inform authorities about such violence. Hashem said the law also calls for establishing shelter centers in the country for domestic violence victims, adding that it applies to Kuwaitis as well as expatriates.