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THERE is no justice without equality, and there are no rights in the darkness of injustice when constitutions become mere viewpoints.
This applies to those in debt and personal loan holders who needed others to help them in life but had fallen between two fires of the inability to pay and the ruthless law, which stipulates opposite of what is in the Constitution, especially Article 7 – “Justice, Liberty, and Equality are the pillars of society. Cooperation and mutual help are the firmest bonds among citizens.”
It seems that legislators did not observe this article in the Constitution, and they instead enacted laws that serve the lenders who are seeking to acquire everything. Through this, they disregarded the divine legislation, because the principle of achieving justice is linked to equality. They adopted the customs of the pre-state institutions to some laws, and persisted in their implementation. They even made the security and judicial agencies as collectors and mediators for them.
The problem related to personal loans in Kuwait has snowballed to this extent due to short-sightedness towards reality, especially those who deliberately obtain cheques without balance, or trust bonds from the debtors, even though this is legally forbidden, because “the one who fails to do due diligence before lending has no right to demand from others to collect his rights.”
Constitutionally, this is forbidden because there is no country in the world that prevents its citizens from freedom of movement, travel, and the pursuit of livelihood in civil cases particularly financial. Travel ban and imprisonment are issued only in criminal cases, such as fraud, extortion, murder, and other self-inflicted acts.
Many officials do not seem to be aware of this fact, because the deep state, which benefits from extorting debtors, embellishes and claims that this matter is at the heart of realizing rights and social justice. However, the truth is the opposite. That is why some of them portrayed the size of the loans as greater than what is real, as they know that the loans are not KD 14 billion but are actually less than KD 1.9 billion.
Irrespective of the reasons, a solution must be found to this issue, as it threatens more than 120,000 citizens who have either been served with arrest warrants or have been prevented from traveling, and were imprisoned for debts, some of which do not exceed KD 500. This is contrary to all international laws, let alone the Constitution of Kuwait.
This is happening at a time when Kuwait is spending up to three billion dinars annually as donations or gifts to various countries of the world, either directly from the state, or from zakat funds and charities, and not providing a single penny to those in debt, because the deep state forbids that.
It is good that the National Assembly approved the bankruptcy law, but it is not enough, because other penal laws are still undermining it. It is good that a group of parliamentarians submitted proposals to recover the interest on loans obtained illegally.
Nevertheless, this is also not enough, as the Gulf countries put an end to this problem long ago when they paid off the loans of their citizens, and did not prevent them from traveling, and did not imprison them.
There is no doubt that the achievement of social justice is based, according to the Constitution, on “the state guarantees the solidarity of society in bearing the burdens resulting from disasters and public tribulations,” and not the skewed view with which some people look at this point, forgetting that when any natural disaster or distress occurs, the state undertakes to protect and assist only those affected and not all people.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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