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Rights panel places focus on deportation cell, prison


KUWAIT CITY, Feb 21: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Sa’ad Al-Kharaaz has stressed that the Public Authority for Handicapped Affairs (PAHA) reserves the right to re-evaluate the medical condition of those registered at the authority.

The minister made the statement amid uproar on the suspension of financial aid for some people with disabilities. He said 4,531 individuals with disabilities were summoned by the authority for medical re-evaluation, as they registered before the implementation of Law No. 8/2010.

He added that 563 of those summoned did not comply, so the authority suspended all files which were not reviewed by the Medical Re-evaluation Committee in a bid to stop the squandering of public funds.

The authority’s obligations include periodic summons for medical re-evaluation and updating information without discrimination as per the recommendation of the National Assembly to protect public funds and ensure that every individual with disability receives adequate support.

In another development, the parliamentary Human Rights Committee on Thursday discussed the condition at the deportation cell and the Central Prison as per the directive of the Assembly to ensure the implementation of international human rights agreements.

Present at the committee meeting were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah, the assistant undersecretary for legal affairs and officials from the Correctional Department.

Committee Chairman MP Adel Al-Damkhi affirmed the committee does not only prepare reports as it also follows up recommendations approved by the Assembly.

He explained that protecting the rights of prisoners necessitates full cooperation among governmental bodies, foremost of which are the ministries of Interior and Health.

He added the public prosecutors inspect prisons weekly, but it is also important for other concerned bodies such as the Human Rights Society, Kuwait Red Crescent Society and the parliamentary Human Rights Committee to conduct inspections to guarantee that all human rights protocols are followed.

During the meeting, the minister was briefed on the committee’s report. He then instructed the concerned top officials to provide the committee with a detailed report on the condition of the deportation cell and Central Prison every three months. He confirmed the ministry is keen on working with the committee to improve the condition of correctional facilities in accordance with the National Anticrime Program.

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb

Arab Times Staff

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