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THE decision of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour to reconsider the practices of the State Security Department has calmed the nation, and anxiety has begun to subside.
This is a major shift and a turning point in terms of the reform process, something that Kuwait is in need of. Any delay in this regard would have generated more burden for this country and at an exorbitant price.
There is no doubt that this bold decision, which came under the directives of His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince, led all Kuwaitis to express their appreciation and gratitude to the political leadership and the Minister of Interior for displaying Kuwait’s civilized and humane face as it is committed to international agreements and treaties, but more importantly, the Kuwaiti customs and traditions.
We definitely acknowledge every time a step is taken towards reform. There is no doubt that His Highness the Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior deserve to be commended. We hope that Kuwait will not fall into the clutches of repression or raids, and will not be at the service of the centers of power.
Therefore, the recommendations of the committee, commissioned by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour to investigate, examine and follow up, and consists of specialists known for their efficiency, will surely be a milestone in the history of Kuwait’s security, especially as it has been granted wide powers.
This indicates the importance of developing this very sensitive apparatus, which is the backbone of security. Any defect in it leads to the weakening of the country. Any transgression by its officers on the sanctities of people raises strife, and tribal and sectarian fevers, and thus sedition. Anyone who condones such social and security decline should be cursed.
There is no doubt that there are personalities appointed to this body by former ministers either as a courtesy or necessity of the same minister. These people therefore thought they were above the law and accountability.
However, when His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince declare that no one is above the law, and this order is implemented, Kuwait undoubtedly is on the right track to get rid of the accumulations that led to corruption in several institutions.
There are many violations committed by this agency. Some were at the request of the officials’ friends against their competitors, or as a courtesy such as summoning a citizen or expatriate to the State Security office to interrogate him in a bid to obtain information, or threaten him with deportation, or not allow him to enter the country. The recent events revealed about torture chambers and mortuaries, as well as detention, all of which are outside the framework of the law.
Therefore, it is my wish that the Minister of Interior, who initiated the reform campaign in the most important state security agencies, completes the march, and will not be subject to any pressure, especially with regard to the mistakes committed by the undersecretary who is going to retire – Sheikh Faisal Al-Nawaf. We hope the minister also reviews the personalities capable of serving the ministry.
Likewise, after the State Security Committee completes its mandate, the minister should not be satisfied with drawing the attention of Major General Salem Al-Nawaf. He should act according to the directives of His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Crown Prince. Hence, the accountability of the director of that apparatus becomes mandatory.
Indeed, the statement of His Excellency the Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour calms the hearts of the fearful and innocent people who for a moment felt that they were in a jungle and not in a country of humanity, rule of law and institutions.
This brave and civilized man blazed this rugged road, which some considered difficult, or even impossible, to walk. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Mansour, with the power of truth, overcame that, and was able to restore Kuwait to its nature, which the world has been used to since 400 years.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times