KUWAIT CITY, Sept 2: Prompted by recent news about cadets being tortured at the military training camp that resulted in the death of two young cadets and injuries of several others, MP Mohammed Hayef demanded for the arrest of those responsible for what he called “the officers college massacre.” In a press conference at the National Assembly Media Center on Sunday, the MP revealed that he heard stories about these young cadets at the hospital and the parents of those who died.
He said all of them confirmed that drill sergeants treat cadets brutally; such as standing under the direct heat of the sun for long hours, whipping, degrading and inhumane labor while being deprived of water or medical attention despite their desperate pleas. He asserted the drill sergeants and their commanding officers, including the chief of staff, are answerable to the law; especially since this “vicious crime” is not the first of its kind as many similar incidents had earlier been reported.
He then urged the government and the investigative committees to look into the matter and quickly finalize their reports for submission to the Public Prosecution in order to commence legal action as swiftly as possible. He said those who will be prosecuted will face multiple charges which could warrant capital punishment, indicating the minister of defense should hold the chief of staff mainly responsible as this is not the only crime that occurred during his tenure.
“We should not be forgiving when it comes to this issue,” asserted the MP. He said this is one of the most dangerous incidents that have ever happened in Kuwait’s history and this kind of brutality is unacceptable at any level – “not publicly, religiously or legally.”
Furthermore, the MP called on those who have been harmed and the parents of those who died to submit reports, grievances and complaints to the parliamentary Human Rights Committee, police stations and other concerned authorities while disregarding any justification given by those in charge of the military training camp.
He also urged the authorities to arrest the erring drill sergeants and everyone in charge of these drills, indicating they should remain in custody until the completion of investigations. He believes these individuals should not be free after committing such a crime, stressing the need to reopen old cases of deaths during military training.
Fresh call for ‘bachelor cities’
In another development, the issue of bachelor laborers living in residential and family areas is getting worse; prompting MP Askar Al-Anizi to push for solutions through the establishment of labor residential cities. He pointed out “patch work” will not solve the issue, as the establishment of an area for housing laborers is the only tangible solution; especially since Minister of Public Works and State Minister for Municipality Affairs Hossam Al-Roumi recently disclosed that they will start building the first labor residential city in South Jahra as soon as the contracts are finalized and signed. The MP explained this issue has been left unsolved so it has become more complicated as the increasing number of bachelor laborers living in residential and family areas led to overcrowding which brought about other problems like severe traffic congestions, poor sanitation, vandalism and violation of building regulations. He asked the minister to ensure the construction of labor residential cities as promised in order to address the problem before it is blown out of proportion as it might lead to higher crime rate due to poor urban planning.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff