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Interior, Justice take conflicting positions on proposal to criminalize witchcraft

KUWAIT CITY, June 20: The ministries of Interior and Justice have taken conflicting positions on the proposal endorsed by the Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee to criminalize the act of practicing witchcraft, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting sources.

Sources disclosed the Ministry of Justice has rejected the proposal due to the need to take into consideration the legal basis of crimes and penalties.

Sources said the ministry also stressed the need to avoid ambiguous terminologies, given that the word ‘witchcraft’ entails something concealed or intangible. Sources stated the ministry argued that the terms ‘witchcraft’, ‘sorcery’ and ‘fortune-telling’ (soothsaying) are imprecise, indicating that the act of bringing or possessing items believed to be used in witchcraft cannot be quantified.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Interior supports the proposal despite admitting that the crime of witchcraft is difficult to prove and it cannot be considered fraud or swindling since the criminal impact is different.

The ministry called for toughening the penalty when the culprit is under the sponsorship of another person, but the problem is convicting the one who brings witchcraft items because it is difficult to ascertain, sources added.

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