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Probe ordered into violation by Policeman on Arab Times premises

KUWAIT CITY, April 17: The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled affirmed that he has instructed ministry officials to investigate the incident that occurred on Wednesday morning when a police officer allegedly entered Al-Seyassah and Arab Times Publication House and harassed some of its employees, reports Al- Seyassah daily.

In a telephone call to the daily, Sheikh Al-Khaled insisted, “We do not allow any kind of abuse of authority. If it is proven that a police officer had abused his authority, he will be punished”. Sheikh Al-Khaled praised the role of journalism and the efforts exerted by press employees who work until late hours of the night to complete their tasks.

In response, the Al-Seyassah and Arab Times Publication House appreciated and thanked Minister of Interior Sheikh Muhammad Al-Khaled for his keen interest and his initiative to launch investigations for determining the truth behind the incident.

Earlier, Ministry of Interior issued a press statement to clarify details of the incident that was published in Arab Times and Al-Seyassah newspapers yesterday.

The Media Security Department explained that some securitymen were checking the Civil IDs of people during a security campaign in the area when they caught a man who was wanted by law for civil offenses.

However, the suspect escaped and one of the police officers chased him.

During the pursuit, the officer noticed the suspect entering the premises of Al-Seyassah and Arab Times. Within few minutes, the suspect was apprehended by the officer and referred to the police station of Shuwaikh Industrial Area.

The department stressed that the officer did not check the Civil IDs of the press employees or halt the publication and distribution operations.

It expressed strong resentment against the way ‘Al-Seyassah’ dealt with the incident, describing the allegations against the police officer as false.

Insisting that the Ministry of Interior and its agencies respect the press media such as ‘Al-Seyassah’ and other local and international newspapers for its role in the community and its influence in the public opinion, the department clarified that the ministry maintains communication with the press media to verify facts for ensuring public security and morals are upheld.

The department affirmed that any police officer, regardless of his/her rank or status, will be held accountable when caught infringing the main objectives and duties of the ministry.

The Arab Times and Al-Seyassah newspapers yesterday reported that a uniformed police officer entered its building from the back gate on April 16 early morning, threatened and harassed press employees, and demanded for their identity cards.

The police officer had parked his patrol vehicle 7767 behind the newspaper building and had demanded to halt the operations of the printing press, which delayed the publication and distribution of Arab Times and Al-Seyassah newspapers for hours.

He also demanded the press employees to leave the premises after checking their Civil IDs. When an employee told the officer that he was violating regulations governing the security sector of the country by entering and raiding the newspaper premises without authorization from the Public Prosecution, the officer locked the employee in the patrol vehicle and eventually released him after several hours before leaving the premises.

The Al-Seyassah and Arab Times Publication House vowed to take necessary legal measures against this representative of Ministry of Interior who allegedly violated the sanctity of its publication through his actions.

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