Tuesday , October 17 2017

MPs focus on drug scourge

Members of Parliament trying to catch the Speaker’s eye during Tuesday’s National Assembly meeting

KUWAIT CITY, March 28: The National Assembly, during its regular meeting on Tuesday, approved the Public Prosecution’s request to lift the parliamentary immunity of Ahmed Nabeel Al-Fadhel.

On the other hand, it rejected a similar request to lift the parliamentary immunity of MPs Jama’an Al-Harbash and Nayef Al-Mirdas Al-Ajmi. The request for lifting MP Al- Fadhel’s parliamentary immunity was based on a press misdemeanor case.

The voting result was 34 out of the total 47 members in approval of the request. Regarding the request for lifting parliamentary immunity of MPs Al-Harbash and Al-Ajmi over a State Security case, the voting result was 26 out of 52 members in approval of the request. Following this, the National Assembly Speaker Marzouk Al-Ghanem decided to adjourn the regular session to Wednesday, March 29 due to lack of necessary quorum.

Earlier in the session, the National Assembly approved the request presented by MP Khalil Ibrahim Al-Saleh in which he asked for tasking the Foreign Affairs Committee with monitoring the steps taken by the government over the attack on a Kuwaiti firefighter who is studying in Jordan, and submitting its report within two months.

The Parliament approved a request from Head of the Interior and Defense Committee for granting the committee a second grace period of two weeks in order for it to submit its report on the proposals for amending some provisions of Law No. 35/1962 regarding elections of members of the National Assembly. It approved a request from the Chairman of the Budgets and Final Accounts Committee to task the State Audit Bureau to prepare a periodic report every six months on the follow-up of issuance of government bonds.

The Parliament approved a request from the Acting Chairman of State Audit Bureau to postpone to mid- April the submission of the report on the money invested from July 1, 2016 to Dec 31, 2016, due to some ammendments to be made in the report. It also approved the request presented by the Chairman of the Education, Culture and Guidance Committee for extending the work of the committee until the end of the current legislative term for presenting its report on certain matters specified in the submitted letter.

In another development, the Parliament’s Negative Phenomena Committee has recommended immediate shifting of the current Central Prison from residential areas. This recommendation was made after the committee was mandated by the Parliament to study the phenomenon of spread of drugs in the prison.

Chairman of the Negative Phenomena Committee MP Mohammed Hayef explained that the committee Monday held a meeting with officials from Ministry of Interior and they agreed on the need to transfer the Central Prison to a location that is far from residential areas.

It was revealed during the meeting that 60 percent of the prisoners are involved in drug cases. He indicated that discussions were held regarding ways to deal with this scourge in the presence of specialists and that the government team presented detailed information on the rate of drug users.

MP Hayef said the committee also talked about ways to eradicate the drug phenomenon, adding discussions were held about the type of communication and message devices used for smuggling drugs into the prison and how to control them.

He stressed that the committee inquired about the training undertaken by the prison staff and the possibility of disconnecting communication devices from drug wards as well as ways to control the ports of the State of Kuwait. MP Hayef affirmed that the committee next Thursday will complete discussions with the customs officers to identify their mechanism for confronting drug smugglers, adding that the committee will ask them about the types of drugs and narcotic pills that are smuggled, how they are smuggled. He indicated that the committee will invite concerned officials from Ministry of Health and other bodies to the meeting.

In this regard, the Acting Undersecretary of Ministry of Interior General Mahmoud Al-Dousari disclosed that his ministry had addressed Kuwait Municipality to allocate a site for building a new prison. He affirmed that this building will be a model prison built on international specifications and will include everything required for upholding the welfare of prisoners, whether men, women or juveniles.

After the meeting, General Al- Dousari indicated that the meeting was positive and resulted in some suggestions and recommendations which will be taken into consideration. He said it was affirmed during the meeting that the ministry has been exerting efforts regarding these issues and has made progress, especially with regard to confronting the phenomenon of drug use which is worrying the whole world due to its tragic impacts on young people.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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