KuwaitOther News

Lawmaker files proposal to abolish article 153

By A Saleh

KUWAIT: MP Safa Al-Hashem speaks during a National Assembly session yesterday. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: MP Safa Al-Hashem announced filing a proposal to cancel article 153 of penal law number 16/1960. In her proposal, Hashem stressed that this particular article is a violation of the constitution in the form of gender segregation, as well the principle of considering defendants innocent until proven guilty. Hashem stressed that Kuwait is fully committed to the universal declaration of human rights that stipulates that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” regardless of gender.

Notably, article 153 of law number 16/1960 stipulates that “whoever catches his wife committing adultery, or catches his daughter, mother or sister with a man, and kills her immediately, or kills them together, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period of up to three years and/or a fine not exceeding 3,000 rupees ($45)”.

Appeal rejected
The court of cassation yesterday rejected an appeal filed by 21 citizens, including activists and former lawmakers, who had been indicted for promoting a speech by former MP Musallam Al-Barrak, against the appeal court sentences over charges of slandering HH the Amir. The court seconded the two-year verdict and a payment of KD 2,000 each to suspend the verdict passed against the defendants, including former lawmakers Jamaan Al-Harbash, Waleed Al-Tabtabaei, Faisal Al-Mislem, Salem Al-Namlan, Nayef Al-Merdas, Abdullah Al-Barghash, Mubarak Al-Waalan, Khaled Al-Tahous and Faisal Al-Yahya. In other news, the criminal court yesterday sentenced a number of Ministry of Health (MoH) employees to two years in jail with labor and KD 1,000 fine each over charges of forging their punch-in and -out fingerprints.

Bedoon employees
A number of lawmakers recently started mobilizing against the Public Authority for Manpower to foil its plans to mandate private companies to register their bedoon employees with the authority, the same way they do with expat and Kuwaiti workers. In this regard, informed sources said the decision is considered another form of inhumane restrictions against bedoons and part of abusive measures taken by the central apparatus for illegal residents despite parliamentary demands to cancel them.

“This means that bedoons will not be employed unless they hold valid security IDs, which are not issued by the apparatus unless applicants sign affidavits confessing they hold other citizenships,” the sources explained, noting that most bedoons have been refraining from doing so and thus have expired IDs. Further, the sources said lawmakers will make the parliamentary human rights committee summon Minister of State for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel to discuss the problem as part of a report Kuwait had submitted to the UN about bedoons, which they deem has false data. In addition, the sources stressed that lawmakers believe that bedoons should be prioritized before expats in terms of private sector employment.

Powers restored
Well-informed official sources stressed that acting minister of social affairs and minister of state for municipal affairs Waleed Al-Jassem is about to reauthorize the director of the public authority for the disabled Shafiqa Al-Awadhi with the authorities that had been curtailed by the resigned minister of social affairs Ghadeer Aseeri. The sources said the decision to undo Aseeri’s decision and restore Awadhi’s powers had been drafted pending Jassem’s approval.

KD 20 million budget rejected
The finance ministry rejected a budget of KD 20 million to build 60 new parks and do landscaping works in new areas through two contracts, said informed sources. The sources added that the finance ministry rejected all the projects demanded by the Public Authority for Agricultural Affair and Fish Resources (PAAAFR).

Employees’ benefits
Kuwait Oil Company’s (KOC) employees syndicate strongly rejected the government’s plans to reduce government employees’ benefits on grounds of implementing the strategic payroll alternative law, which it publicly rejected. Syndicate chairman Yousef Jarallah Al-Shareifi accused parties he described as ‘bats of the dark’ of messing with citizens’ social stability instead of executing real development projects and employing more Kuwaiti youth.

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