Kuwait backs vote on religion hatred; Jail, fine for ‘queer’ behaviours

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KUWAIT CITY, March 13: Kuwait voted in favor of the proposal that Qatar presented at the 146th Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) Assembly in Manama, Bahrain on criminalizing contempt for religions. Chairman of the Kuwaiti parliamentary delegation and undersecretary of the group MP Thamer Al-Suwait disclosed that Kuwait was granted 11 votes. Qatar’s proposal is second among five proposals that got slightly low votes; compared to the proposal of Argentina, Germany, Chile, Netherlands and Ukraine in first place.

Only one emergency proposal will be approved as per the regulations of IPU. In a relevant development, MP Hamad Al-Obaid represented Kuwait in the meetings of the Democracy and Human Rights Committee in IPU. During the meeting, he stressed the need to ratify international laws on the anomalies in some orphanages, especially those in some developing countries. He pointed out some orphanages are trafficking in the orphans and are illegally benefitting from donations; hence, the need for laws to be implemented by IPU, United Nations (UN) and other concerned regional and global organizations.

Charitable
He highlighted the vital charitable role of Kuwait, asserting such role has no borders. He pointed out that Kuwait ratified laws to protect donors from the unscrupulous acts of some parties under the guise of charity.

On the other hand, MP Hamad Al-Matar forwarded queries to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Bader Al-Mullah about the contract with Boston Consultancy Group to analyze the financial aspects of amending the accounting system. He demanded for copies of the contract, minutes of the meetings of the group with the concerned institutions, reports of the group, and final report of the concerned institutions.

MP Abdulaziz Al-Saqaabi asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Sabah to provide him with the list of Kuwaiti ambassadors appointed since 2017 till date and were not employed at the Foreign Affairs Ministry prior to their appointment as ambassadors; including their qualifications, experience and work places before the appointment. He wants to know if the conditions for appointing ambassadors among the ministry employees are different for those who came from other institutions; if the qualification and specialization, as well as the political and strategic interests of Kuwait, are considered in appointing ambassadors; and reasons for appointing ambassadors from other institutions even if there are competent senior ministry officials who are qualified for the position.

MP Jenan Bu Shehri asked Minister of Finance Abdulwahab Al-Rashead about the rationale behind the approval of loans for owners of small and medium (SMEs) more than the maximum amount specified in the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises Law – KD500,000. She requested for the list of SMEs that got loans more than the specified amount and members of the committee tasked to approve the loans.

In addition, MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri submitted a bill on amending the Penal Code, stipulating maximum two years imprisonment or KD5,000 fine for individuals who promote homosexuality or engage in such acts in public. The penalty also applies to those who import commodities with homosexual slogans, images or flags. The lawmaker explained that the bill aims to fill the legislative gap in addressing such issues; especially after the Constitutional Court declared that Article 198 of the Penal Code is unconstitutional. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff

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