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SHEIKH Ahmed Al-Mansour is known for his quest for reform. He is one of those personalities who leave positive effects wherever he takes charge. He also does not tolerate injustice.
Therefore, his assumption of the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior calls for optimism because the man is bound to fix several errors in a number of departments in his ministry.
There is no doubt that security is the backbone of the state. If any of its departments suffers from a disease, it will lead to paralysis of the whole ministry.
In modern Arab history, we have several examples in this regard, including the practices of state security during the era of Jamal Abdul-Nasser, which angered millions of Egyptians as he suppressed people, falsely accused them, and used security agencies to settle scores among commercial rivals.
This also was a norm in Iraq where the late Saddam Hussein turned the Iraqi intelligence into a tool for oppressing millions of his people, and kidnapping and abusing them arbitrarily and illegally.
In addition, the state security during the era of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi was like a gang that practiced bullying against anyone who thought or even dreamed of criticizing any of the personalities close to the security officers, regardless of his position or capacity.
In all these aforementioned examples and in other repressive Arab countries, the state security apparatus turned out to be a calamity on the country and the people. That is why, when the opportunity came, we saw the extent of popular anger against the regimes that did not put an end to the practices of their security officers.
Nonetheless, in various countries of the world, there is no accusation without evidence, and no physical pressure, violence and extortion against any person. In cases where the security service suspects a person, it monitors. If no accusation is proven against that person, he remains free. He perhaps would not even know that he was under surveillance.
Yes, the security apparatus can destroy the state, or be a source of strength and stability for it.
Kuwait has known throughout its history that it is far from oppression. In fact, its security apparatus was a source of pride for everyone who lived on its land, as it did not know of the “dawn raids”. Even when some officers made a mistake, the administration did not hesitate to refer them to the judiciary to be punished. Some of them are now in prison as a result of what is known as the “multi-million” case, because they exceeded their legal limits.
Your Highness, this administration today suffers from violations that the country has not experienced before. This means that we are afraid of what could happen in the future, especially after the scandal of the brigadier who was lured and tortured, or the summoning of some citizens and residents to pressure them to confess to crimes they did not commit.
It is as if Kuwait has become like Iraq, which is condemned as one of the security agencies that employ sectarian militias to abuse people, like the incident of an Iraqi husband who confessed to having killed his wife and burning her body but the wife later appeared well and alive. What had actually happened was that the husband confessed to the crime as a result of the brutal torture he was subjected to at the hands of security officers. This is a terrifying example of the extent these agencies could go when operating outside the law.
It is surprising that the matter in Kuwait has reached the limits of unspeakable injustice, especially since the state security apparatus is the department concerned with protecting national security. It seems that there is negligence on the part of the director of the apparatus, which led the officers to do as they please, and trade their influence.
Your Highness, to be frank, the journalists in Kuwait are now afraid that this will extend to gag orders and pressure on the press to withhold information, or accusations framed against journalists and media professionals, or pressure being put even on elected MPs.
Your Highness the reformist minister, if correcting the error and stopping it from spreading is half the remedy, the peace of security would reconcile the whole state. This is because it is its salt that should not be corrupted. We therefore hope that this matter will be the first of the files to be worked on for the sake of reforms, so that Kuwait does not become an oppressive state like Libya during the reign of Gaddafi, or Algeria, Iraq, and other Arab countries.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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