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Thursday , August 6 2020

Administrative deportation a nightmare haunting expats

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 3: Article 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that: “An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the present Covenant may be expelled there from only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall, except where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, be allowed to submit the reasons against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed by, and be represented for the purpose before, the competent authority or a person or persons especially designated by the competent authority.” However, the reality is quite different in Kuwait. The number of foreigners deported has so far reached 88,430.

At this juncture, it is necessary to point out that there are two types of deportation as follows:

■ Judicial deportation – complementary penalty when a foreigner commits a crime and sentenced to original punishment such as imprisonment; thus, the judge may decide to expel that person after serving his prison term.

■ Administrative deportation – known as compulsory exit through the issuance of an administrative decision to deport a foreigner who will not be allowed to return without the submission of a resolution on judicial control. The deportee has no right to challenge the expulsion decision – a nightmare haunting migrant workers in Kuwait. The legislator grants broad powers to the Ministry of Interior on this subject within the concept of ‘public interest’ without specific controls and real threat to public order. We recently witnessed complaints on the dismissal of a large number of migrant workers as a result of the policy followed by the Ministry of Interior and the reasons for deportation were not clear. Some were simply charged without clear conviction, including absenteeism reports by employers against the workers. Some of them violated traffic regulations and the internal regulations of the Kuwait Municipality like barbecuing in parks or that of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry such as operating without a commercial or industrial license. They were deported without giving them the right to appeal.

By Atyab Alshatti, Esq.

Email: lawyeratyabalshatti@ gmail.com

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