Action violated international law
KUWAIT CITY, April 22: Two professors at the Faculty of Law- Kuwait University have condemned the action of some diplomats at the Embassy of Philippines in Kuwait in smuggling a domestic worker from the residence of her sponsor to the embassy with a diplomatic car.
The law gurus affirmed the action violated international law and penal code in connection with expatriate residence, reports Al-Anba daily. Professor of International Law Dr Rushaid Al-Enezi said the major responsibility of diplomats is to protect their citizens in the countries they’re assigned to, and “this is an absolute right that must be granted by their host governments to ensure adequate follow up of the condition of their citizens”. However, diplomatic norms and Vienna agreement put this right within the legal framework such that sovereignty of the host country should not be infringed.
“Therefore, action of the Filipino diplomats amounts to infringement on Kuwait’s sovereignty and breach of the Vienna agreement concerning diplomatic relations, and considered to be interference in Kuwait’s internal affairs”. “The best way to handle the situation was for the diplomats to file complaints to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Interior on behalf of their citizens, so the government has the right to expel the culprits immediately without explanation,” the legal icon said.
Talking about penal aspect of the case, Professor of Punitive Law Dr Mansour Al-Otaibi declared the action of the Filipino diplomats clearly violates the expatriate residency law and the penal code. He noted the act is regarded as aiding domestic workers to escape from their places of work and providing cover for them.
He explained that the diplomat will be liable under Article 133 of the penal code in such situation if the domestic worker has committed a crime or she is wanted by law, stipulating “whoever is aware of a crime or misdemeanor and assists the culprit to evade justice by providing shelter for him or hiding proofs of the crime is liable to a maximum of one year jail term and maximum of 1000 Rupees or either of the two penalties”.