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Kuwaiti dies in custody

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 21: Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Anas Al-Saleh on Friday ordered the formation of a panel to investigate demise of a citizen in custody.

Al-Saleh, also Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, ordered establishing the “neutral committee” to look into circumstances of Ahmad Al-Dhefairi’s death at a building of the criminal security department, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.

The official statement said the panel would “investigate the incident with the competent personnel to determine whether there was any slackness since his detention until his death.”

The panel will present a report about its probe within a week. Any personnel suspected of wrongdoing will be suspended from work until end of the probe, according to the minister, who has affirmed that suspects, if proven guilty, will be penalized.

The ministry had notified the Public Prosecution about the incident, it said, adding that the corpse of the deceased had been examined by coroners upon the prosecution request.

The MoI affirms its adherence to transparency and establishing the facts with regard of the case. Several MPs commented on the death of Al-Dhefairi. On his Twitter account, National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim expressed sincere condolences to the family of Al-Dhefairi.

He urged the ministry to reveal results of investigations on the death of Al-Dhefairi to the media. He said he is closely following up the procedures taken and circumstances leading to the citizen’s death. He also emphasized the importance of identifying all those involved in the issue to punish them severely.

Rapporteur of parliamentary Defense and Interior Committee MP Asskar Al-Anzi urged the ministry to conduct transparent investigation and to take all the necessary legal measures against those who will be proven to be involved in the issue.

MP Al-Humaidi Al-Subai’e called to mind that he previously warned about the violations in the ministry, concurrently with the issue of media figure Mahdi Al-Khamis and Al-Maimouni. He attributed the latest incident – death of Al-Dhefairi – to the lack of action on the part of the ministry.

MP Dr Abdulkareem Al-Kandari said the interior minister must shoulder his responsibility and order full investigation to be conducted by an independent committee. He then underscored the need to keep the public updated on the results of investigations.

MP Dr Adel Al-Damkhi intends to submit a draft law aimed at addressing repeated torture incidents, while MP Abdullah Fehad disclosed that he heard horrible details from the family of Al-Dhefairi; stressing the importance of investigating the issue thoroughly and punishing anyone behind it.

MP Riyad Al-Adassani emphasized the need to reveal the truth and that the issue should not remain vague. He added the circumstances leading to the death of Al-Dhefairi must be revealed and legal action taken should be announced to the public.

MP Nasser Al-Doussari called for formation of an independent committee to investigate the issue and unveil results to the people. He intends to closely follow up the procedures that the interior minister will take in this regard.

MP Mubarak Haif Al-Hajraf argued that the task of securitymen is to maintain security and protect citizens and their properties, not to attack and manipulate lives. MP Dr Khalil Abul underscored the need to punish those involved and remove such people from the security authority.

On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Anas Al-Saleh affirmed the issue is now in the hands of the Public Prosecution. He said the corpse of Al-Dhefairi was referred to Forensics and a committee was formed to investigate the incident, stressing that he will not allow any manipulation.

Meanwhile, MP Ahmed Al-Fadel disclosed that several bills in committees are awaiting sessions in order to be addressed, yet some MPs have opted to set aside these bills and prioritize the General Amnesty Bill. He pointed out these minority MPs are pushing for such a directive for political gain and nothing more as the bill will benefit only a handful of individuals, while other draft laws such as freedom of speech and amendment of the Retirement Law are more pressing because they affect a bigger number of people.

He claimed these MPs just want to fulfill their promises to their supporters in order to maintain their political relevance, whereas the rest who want to prioritize important draft laws are upholding the parliamentary oath to serve the nation.

Furthermore, MP Askar Al-Enizi submitted a proposal for all concerned governmental institutions to gather and review information and establish a nationwide database for senior citizens and retirees to provide a one-stop destination for any need for valuable knowledge and expertise that retirees gained throughout their years in service.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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