Chairman of the National Assembly’s human rights committee MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan yesterday strongly deplored a decision by the Interior Ministry to deport expatriate males for harassing women, saying the decision will likely be misused. Duwaisan said the decision is expected to be misused by women against innocent expatriates or by security officials and servicemen who could use it to threaten foreigners or settle personal grudges against them.
Head of the Criminal Investigation Department Brig Gen Mahmoud Al-Tabbakh said a few days ago that the Interior Ministry will immediately deport expatriate males who are caught harassing women without sending them to court. Thousands of expatriate drivers were deported last year without trial for allegedly committing serious traffic offenses including running the red light, ferrying passengers and others. The measure has been tempered after criticism by international human rights bodies.
Tabbakh did not set any rules or conditions for convicting an expatriate of harassment, apparently leaving the judgement to security men. Duwaisan however considered the measure as a “punishment stick” that could be falsely used against innocent expatriates by women and the security agencies as well, who do not need to provide any evidence. He said that the measure could also be used as a tool for settling personal scores by security agencies, asking what will happen if the expatriate is proved to be innocent after deportation.
Duwaisan asked if expatriates have the right to appeal against the deportation decision before they are sent home and if there are any regulations to prevent security men from misusing the decision. He also questioned why expats will be deported only for harassing women, while there are many other bigger crimes. “As the head of the human rights committee, I will not accept the decision and I insist that violators should be sent to court whether the crime is harassment or anything else,” Duwaisan said.
The lawmaker warned that if the ministry goes ahead in implementing the decision, the committee will take a strong stand against a measure that is likely to be badly misused by women and security men by harming innocent people. Under Kuwait law, there are two ways to deport expatriates – the first by the court in a final verdict and the second called administrative deportation, which is carried out by the Interior Ministry away from the judiciary.