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‘Lack of air, less space in prisons’ Inmates eye conjugal visits

KUWAIT CITY, June 24: The parliamentary Human Rights Protection Committee has forwarded to the National Assembly its report on the surprise visit to correctional facilities on April 8, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The delegation that visited the correctional facilities included MPs Faisal Al-Duwaisan, Dr Awada Al-Ruwei’, Adnan Abdulsamad and Dr Abdulkareem Al-Kandari.

The objective of the visit was to determine if the conditions of correctional facilities and the treatment of inmates are in line with recommendations set out in the international pact on human rights.

The visitors looked into the types and quality of services offered to the inmates and their problems in order to find appropriate solutions. They visited several jails for men and women, in addition to the deportation center, during which they met the officials and some inmates who talked about the challenges they face in these facilities and the changes which they want to see.

According to the delegation, the inmates’ problems include lack of proper ventilation, space and conjugal visits. The inmates also discussed issues related to the Amiri pardon for those who committed State security crimes, as well as the detention of those charged with consumption of narcotic substances and those accused of drug trafficking.

In response to the issues raised by the inmates, representatives of the Justice Ministry clarified the list of those eligible for Amiri pardon is usually submitted to the Attorney General, Public Prosecution and Ministry of Interior.

They said the Amiri pardon is under the sole jurisdiction of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah and it is not usually open for discussion. On the State security cases, the representatives said the Amiri pardon does not cover cases filed from 2006 till date; however, there is a proposal by the foreign affairs minister to rehabilitate inmates serving time for involvement in such cases and this can be done by organizing rehabilitation programs for them. On the inmates’ conjugal visitation rights, representatives of the Interior Ministry admitted there is no law to support or regulate such visits.

They assured that in case a law is issued in this regard, it will be considered a positive step. Regarding the overcrowded deportation centers, the representatives disclosed some embassies are not willing to cooperate with the ministry to address the problem.

They said there are 1,050 deportation cases, 990 of which were resolved within three months but other cases require more time. On putting those accused of consuming narcotic substances and drug traffickers in separate cells, the representatives revealed there are 2,500 inmates involved in such cases and the Prison Administration usually separates the drug traders from those accused of consuming drugs who are treated as patients.

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