Three Kuwaiti lawmakers file request to quiz interior minister

January 24, 2011

Three Kuwaiti lawmakers on Monday filed a request in parliament to quiz the interior minister over the torture to death of a Kuwaiti national in the custody of the police.

Opposition MPs Waleed Al Tabtabai, Shuaib Al Muwaizri and Salem Al Namlan Al Azmi said that the investigation of Shaikh Jaber Khalid Al Sabah was based on the death of a Kuwaiti national from torture, misleading public opinion, abusing authority and lying under oath.

“Islam has preserved the dignity of people and has warned against denigrating, humiliating or abusing them,” the MPs wrote in their request.

“Kuwaiti society was shocked to learn about the death of a Kuwaiti young man under torture by some officers and police staff who had no human qualities and showed contempt for the constitution and the laws they were supposed to protect and to enforce,” they said.

Mohammad Al Mutairi was arrested on January 6 and was transferred to Al Ahmadi hospital on January 11.

“The first medical report stated that the victim was brought in at 1.10 am and was already dead. Several injuries were visible on his body and it was obvious that he died under the onslaught of beatings and torture,” the lawmakers said.

The MPs contended that the agencies under the minister “mislead and hid information from the Kuwaiti people and that the minister read out at the parliament a statement that included distorted facts.”

The interior minister initially told parliament that the Kuwaiti man had died after complaining of chest pain after he resisted police who wanted to arrest him on suspicion of trading in alcohol.

But Shaikh Jaber later retracted the statement and acknowledged that there was a criminal suspicion behind the death of Al Mutairi.

A high-level probe was set up at the ministry and has so far referred six policemen to the public prosecution on suspicion of having tortured the man to death.

“The minister admitted that he had been misled by his agencies, but only after the parliament presented evidence and facts about the lies,” the three MPs said.

Shaikh Jaber said that he was not honoured to lead a ministry that attacked Kuwaiti citizens and submitted his resignation on January 13 over the affair. He was however asked to stay on and follow investigations into the case.

The charge of abusing authority centered on the attempt of the minister to avoid assuming his responsibilities and to blame others, the lawmakers said.

“The political responsibility is his; however, the minister despite claims he had resigned, is continuing his routine work,” the lawmakers wrote in their grilling request letter.

The lawmakers added that Al Mutairi’s deadly torture coincided with attempts to deport Abdul Aziz Abdul Sattar, an Egyptian watchman who was a potential key witness in the case, the torture of another Kuwaiti Sabah Husain Al Rashidi and the beating of another Kuwaiti national who was detained over a road traffic violation.

Shaikh Jaber’s grilling, expected to take place within two weeks, could lead to a no-confidence motion that requires the endorsement of 25 MPs to oust the minister.

The minister has survived two previous no-confidence votes on charges of corruption and misleading parliament.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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