Administrative deportations harm Kuwait’s reputation: KSHR
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 4: In 2016, the government of Kuwait has deported 31,000 expatriates, which roughly works out to 85 people per day or one person every fifteen minutes and compared to four cases every hour the previous year, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting knowledgeable security sources confirming the trend of deportations has been very high unlike in the past.
Detailing the nationalities of the deportees, the source said, the Indians topped the list with 24%, the Egyptians came in second place with 20%, the Filipinos 15%, Ethiopians fourth with 14%, the Sri Lankans fifth with 7% and the Bangladeshis sixth with 6%.
The sources noted these six nationalities constitute the bulk of the deportees with 86% while other nationalities constitute 14%.
The source added the people were deported for various reasons such as violation of residence and labor laws, committing crimes, serious traffic violations, fraud and a majority of them for trafficking in drugs and alcohol.
The sources pointed out about 10,000 have been deported in cooperation with the Ministry of Health because they were ‘UNFIT’, 15 were found to be carriers of the AIDS virus and a majority of the Arab deportees were infected with Hepatitis.
The source said the Interior Ministry is currently pursuing about 75,000 expatriates who are believed to be violators of residence and labor laws most of who are believed to hiding in residential and industrial areas, farms and livestock pens.
The sources added the prison administration takes care of the deportees and they are held at the deportation center for no more than one week – the time needed to arrange for the ticket and documentation.
The sources went on to say some sponsors cooperate with the administration and book the tickets from the travel offices inside the prison and this helps the deportation of the person in a maximum of three days from the date of booking the ticket.
The sources pointed out, however, there are some expatriates who stay at the deportation for longer periods of one or two months because of the lawsuits filed against them and they cannot be deported until a verdict is issued by the court.
On the other hand, Director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, Muhammad Al-Humaidi, said administrative deportations harm Kuwait’s reputation in the international human rights organizations and called for urgently amending the legislation.
Al-Humaidi added the administrative deportation in its present form represents a danger to human rights and distorts the image of the country at international level, as it is one of the most important issues raised during international meetings, especially before the Human Rights Committee in Geneva.
He stressed it is necessary to abolish this law through known methods and the National Assembly is under obligation to pass legislation guaranteeing the right of deportees in litigation to find out the reasons and to defend themselves. He added the cases of deportation for personal reasons with the help of infl uential people are many; therefore, the Human Rights Society always calls for entitling the deportees to defend themselves and to resort to the judiciary to preserve their rights. MP Abdullah Fahad stressed on the need for legislative and humanitarian protection for expatriates and legalization of administrative deportation.
He pointed out many expatriates who were administratively deported faced problems and humanitarian tragedies.
Fahad said this issue needs amendment to the current legislation, especially since the Administrative Court is not competent enough to consider some cases such as administrative deportation and cases of places of worship and revoked nationalities, so the current legislation must be amended to include these cases.
Lawyers say the law gave the Interior Ministry the authority to deport any person considered a danger and a threat to the nation, explaining the ministry has become the judge and the opponent in this matter. “The deportation is not a problem, but the problem is its causes, and there is a broad concept to the cases of deportation,” said lawyer Mohammed Al-Ansari.
Lawyer Abeer Al-Haddad confirmed that a person cannot be deported without being given the chance to defend himself in a court of law. He must be brought before the judiciary, and this is an inherent right of any person to have a lawyer.
She added: “We cannot cancel this grant given by the Constitution to people, and there is no penalty without crime, if we use deportation as punishment, where is the charge? “We do not know the details of the cases of deportation, especially since the deportee cannot return again, so it is not permissible to cut people’s livelihood,” Al-Haddad added.
The human rights activist Dr Ibtihal Al-Khatib said expatriates feel they are targeted. Al-Khatib added a resident plans his life with his family to be in the country for a period of time, and suddenly he is deported because of a violation or a quarrel, and this creates a kind of serious anxiety, instability and continuous fears.