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Kuwait - MP wants in on UN rights report, notes red-faced lapse on sponsorship system   Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab Times - 25/02/2014
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(MENAFN - Arab Times) The government must include the legislative authority in the preparation of the annual general report to be submitted to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Oct 27, says Head of the parliamentary Human Rights Protection Committee MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan. Al-Duwaisan pointed out the Constitution mandates the government to take such a step, especially since the preparation of the annual report falls within the responsibilities of the Foreign Affairs minister

He said the Parliament will question the minister in case he fails to accomplish this task. He disclosed the Human Rights Council in the United Nations (UN) has requested for the inclusion of lawmakers in any country's delegation, as well as members of the judicial authority

He added the council also asked for the participation of non-governmental human rights organizations in order to present a more cohesive report. Urging the government to respond positively to the council's requests, Al- Duwaisan stressed the significance of taking this step considering that the Defense Committee's efforts in the field of human rights were mentioned in the 2010 report

He also unveiled his plan to submit a proposal to the National Assembly Office to invite the concerned government officials to participate in the discussion and preparation of the annual report within the Human Rights Protection Committee

Furthermore, the MP expressed regret that the government accepted the Human Rights Council's recommendations only in paper, as no action has been taken in terms of implementing the recommendations. He alleged the government accepted the recommendations just to avoid international embarrassment

He revealed the recommendations include unbiased attitude towards naturalization of women in Kuwait and cancellation of the sponsorship system to replace it with a mechanism in line with the country's laws and regulations

In addition, the council also called for the immediate establishment of the National Institution for Human Rights, which the government failed to accomplish despite the numerous proposals and draft bills submitted by the Assembly

The MP went on to say the Assembly is keen on presenting a transparent and cohesive report to the Human Rights Council; at the same time it is adamant in demanding for the inclusion of its input in the report, instead of leaving everything in the hands of the government. "We will be able to portray a great democratic picture to the UN by including the three authorities in the report, as well as the non-governmental organizations," he asserted. On visiting the Central Prison for investigation, Al-Duwaisan said he prefers a surprise visit to see what really goes on daily in the prison rather than being accommodated with sweets and other formalities

On the other hand, MP Abdullah Al- Turaiji wondered whether the Kuwaiti borders are safe and secured at a time the country is commemorating the 23rd anniversary of its liberation from the Iraqi invaders. He said the memory of the liberation comes with pain and sadness, indicating there are legitimate questions lingering in people's minds. He stressed the need for everyone to pause for awhile and assess the current situation to ask what has changed in the course of action and what the country has done in terms of the political, defense and security aspects. He added the Kuwaitis cannot forget Feb 26 as it is their Liberation Day, particularly the euphoria associated with it. "This occasion is precious to our hearts but it should not take us away from the suffering of hundreds of families of martyrs. We should learn from the lessons of the occupation. We must not forget its stations both in and outside Kuwait. The first of these lessons is to ask what benefits and lessons did the government get from the well-planned invasion carried out by the Arab-Muslim neighbor. He wondered whether Kuwait's borders are secured and if its relationship with Iraq is strong. He asked if the government has succeeded in organizing an information and educational campaign on the Iraqis who became victims of the media machine of Saddam's regime. He stressed the executive authority must not close the pages of invasion as if nothing happened

He said, "The government should think continuously about the circumstances and causes of the occupation and the fall of all State bodies. This does not exempt the legislative authority from joining the government in carrying such a burden". He warned this country is within the vicinity of a volatile political and security situation dominating the region. He believes the regional and international interests have an impact on the stability of the region, "so the joys of Liberation and National holidays should not make us forget the suffering during the seven months of terror; especially the deprivation and loss of loved ones, friends and brothers." He added the occasion also necessitates statements from the government and the National Assembly eulogizing the innocent martyrs and condemning the massacres of the late tyrant, Saddam Hussein; while paying tribute to the steadfastness of the Kuwaiti people at home and abroad as they rallied around legitimacy. He implored God Almighty to have mercy on the martyrs and protect Kuwait and its people from all harm under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, may God protect him

In another development, Al-Turaiji has threatened to grill State Minister for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Al- Hammoud in case he allows a person suspected of wrongdoing to join the Kuwaiti sports delegation that will leave the country on Tuesday for an official assignment abroad. He asserted the minister will bear the political responsibilities if the delegation leaves along with this person. Meanwhile, MP Ahmed Al-Azmi forwarded a congratulatory letter to HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the occasion of Kuwait's Liberation and National days. In his letter, the MP mentioned how this day reminds the public of our perseverance during the Iraqi invasion; in addition to the blood of brave men and women who gave their lives for the country. He also affirmed that he understands the pain of families who lost their loved ones during the invasion; indicating the people of Kuwait clearly defined the word, 'unity', at the time. The MP went on to praise the glorified rule of the Al-Sabah Family, adding that, "With the wisdom, insight and courage of our forefathers, Kuwait has become a symbol of glory." His letter concluded by wishing the best for HH the Amir and his people, and for Allah to give him strength and guidance to lead the country to a better tomorro


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