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Interior Minister sets new ‘stricter’ controls for home search, arrests

KUWAIT: Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour Al-Sabah released a new order yesterday setting new controls that police must abide by when raiding homes based on arrest or search warrants. The new decision sets “stricter controls to protect the dignity of those against whom the arrest or search warrants are issued” and ensure that operations are carried out within the framework of the law, the ministry said in a statement. Among the new controls is banning police from searching homes at night and making sure that police “adhere to professionalism and decency while implementing the law strictly”, according to the ministry statement.

“Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Mansour Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah issued a circular to all members of the police force in which he introduced more disciplined mechanisms in implementing orders to enter residential places, ensuring the execution of police duties within limits that safeguard the rights and dignity of those ordered arrested or inspected,” the Interior Ministry’s Department of Relations and Security Information said in a press statement. The rules that police must follow are:

1- Adhering to rules of law and orders issued to them by the concerned authorities based on legal rules and procedures.

2- Introduce themselves and state the purpose of their operation to the individuals concerned, and explain their duty and its legal justification.

3- Be professional, disciplined, ethical and behave with tactfulness, coupled with decisiveness without abuse of authority, and adhere to law and order while preserving public and private property.

4- Maintaining the reputation and dignity of the job and customs and traditions of the society, while respecting human dignity and preserving public and private liberties and human rights.

5- Avoid committing any inhumane and insulting acts and other means of harsh treatment or speaking in an indecent language.

6- Pay attention to the elderly, women, children, disabled and victimized persons, and respond to SOS and help calls.

7- Refrain from using force unless when absolutely necessary and avoid resorting to using firearms except according to the law and after taking all precautions and exhausting all other means.

8- Escort policewomen if the place of the operation has families with women and children.

9- Execute duties as required without overstepping personal, time or place limits in a way that does not affect the interest of inspection, arrest or duties they are asked to carry out.

10- Adhere to legally-set procedural rules, especially the following:

* Women must be searched by a woman asked to do that with knowledge of the investigator, while witnesses of the search must be women too.

* Inspection of homes must be during the day and after permission from the occupants. Homes should not be entered at night or without permission unless the investigator finds it urgent.

* If there are women in the residence and the purpose of entry is not to arrest or search them, traditions must be observed in dealing with them and the person carrying out the search must allow them to cover up or leave the residence, and offer them the necessary facilities to do that in a way that does not affect the purpose of the search, their duty and its results.

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