Prison reforms hailed; 3 lawyers sue Juwaihel

KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s human rights committee yesterday welcomed what it called important developments in the interior ministry’s dealings with prisoners in the country. Head of the committee MP Adel Al-Damkhi said based on the panel’s recommendations, the interior ministry has allowed public attorneys to make weekly visits to the central prison and the deportation center to listen to complaints from inmates.

Damkhi described the move as a very important development in improving the human rights record at the central prison and deportation center. The lawmaker also said the interior minister has ordered ministry officials to provide the committee with regular reports every three months on the situation of prisoners and inmates at the deportation center.

Meanwhile, three lawyers yesterday filed a lawsuit against former MP and candidate in next month’s by-elections Mohammed Al-Juwaihel after he allegedly insulted bedouin tribes and their folklore. The three lawyers – Nasser Al-Hasban, Nawaf Al-Tuwaijri and Mohammad Al-Muqahta – claimed in their complaint that Juwaihel has made disrespectful comments against a well-known tribal folkloric dance staged by graduates of the police academy who were celebrating their graduation. They also alleged that such remarks trigger social discord and create divisions in the society.
Two MPs meanwhile criticized the interior ministry’s decision to suspend updating the electoral rolls, thus depriving hundreds of Kuwaitis from voting in next month’s elections. Under Kuwaiti law, the electoral rolls are updated in the month of February every year to include those who reached 21 and delete those who died. But this year, the ministry suspended the update because of the by-election. MP Mubarak Al-Hajraf said the ministry should update the lists immediately after the by-election, while MP Youssef Al-Fadhalah said that five MPs proposed a draft law in 2010 to resolve the way electoral lists are updated and called on the Assembly to approve the bill.

By B Izzak