Kuwait curbs police power to deport erring expatriates

Updated 04 April 2014
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Kuwait curbs police power to deport erring expatriates

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwaiti police will no longer be able to deport expatriates without Interior Ministry approval under new rules published Thursday after officers expelled thousands over the past year.
The Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) said the move was a “step in the right direction” to protect the rights of the emirate’s 2.7 million expatriates, although it fell short of activists’ calls for an end to all deportations not ordered by the courts.
In April, last year Kuwait made a range of traffic offenses punishable by deportation, including driving without a licence, a document impossible for many expats to obtain.
Thousands of people have since been deported on the authority of a senior police officer, but in future all expulsion orders will have to be countersigned by the Interior Ministry undersecretary.
“The decision is a step in the right direction to improve the situation of immigrant workers,” KSHR chief Khaled Al-Ajmi said.
Expatriates make up 69 percent of Kuwait’s 3.9 million population, greatly outnumbering its 1.2 million citizens.
In April last year, Social Affairs and Labour Minister Thekra Al-Rasheedi said the emirate planned to deport around 100,000 expatriates every year for the next decade to reduce the number of foreigners living in the Gulf state by one million.
She did not say what measures she would adopt to carry out the plan.


Qatar denies its military aircraft intercepted UAE civilian airliner

Updated 39 min 39 sec ago
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Qatar denies its military aircraft intercepted UAE civilian airliner

  • The UAE said Sunday that a Qatari fighter jet had flown "dangerously close to one of its civilian aircraft
  • Qatar claims a UAE military aircraft had entered its airspace

DUBAI: Qatar denied on Monday that its military planes intercepted a civilian aircraft from the UAE the day before, state news agency QNA reported.

The QNA statement claimed that a UAE military plane had violated its air space at the time.

Qatar’s claims come a day after the UAE had said a civilian aircraft carrying 86 passengers from Saudi Arabia to Abu Dhabi had been intercepted in Bahraini airspace.

UAE state news agency WAM said Sunday that the Qatari fighter jet had come within 700 feet of the Emirati airliner, forcing the pilot to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.

But the Qatari civil aviation authority has been quoted by the Qatar state news agency as claiming that the military planes were on a routine flight.

They claim a UAE military aircraft entered Qatari airspace “without permission” in the same area as the civilian aircraft.

Sunday’s intercept is the latest in a series of mid-air incidents since the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar amid claims it had supported Iran, as well as other Islamic militants.

Doha denies the claims.

In January Qatari fighter jets intercepted two Emirates aircraft. The UAE has since lodged a complaint with the UN about the incident.

(With AFP)