Outrage over deporting expats for traffic violations

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Recent news on deporting expatriates for serious traffic violations draws outrage among the political circle in Kuwait. Former MP Abdullah Al-Turaiji strongly criticized the interior ministry over reports of deporting hundreds of expatriates for committing “grave” traffic offenses. According to Kuwait Times daily, he said deporting expats for traffic offenses is illegal. Daily also reported quoting head of the expatriate manpower office at Kuwait Labour Union Abdulrahman AlGhanem that the measure will be a black page in Kuwait’s human rights record. Meanwhile, Arab Times daily quoting MP Khalid Al Shatti reported that deporting an expatriate just because of violating the traffic law will open door for favoritism and use of influences and would violate the principles of human rights.

MP Khalid Al Shatti has called ion the government not to overreact against expatriates but rather clarify the situation so that people can know its strategy about deporting 100,000 expatriates annually, reported Arab Times. Daily added that he strongly supports addressing the defects in the demographic structure, deporting marginal workers and combating human trafficking as well as applying the law on anybody who violates international law. however Al Shatti said he is against suppressing the expatriates in an abusive manner. he also expressed his strong objection to undermining the dignity of any expatriate during the process of deportation "because the law must be applied in accordance with the human rights and international and humanitarian criteria".

Kuwait Times, quoting Abdulrahman AlGhanem reported that deporting expats randomly will have far-reaching economic and social consequences. AlGhanem also said that authorities have failed to curb visa traders who recruited thousands of expatriates for money and as the ministry failed to punish those visa traders, it is now penalizing expatriates. The ministry has squarely put the blame on expatriates for the demographic imbalances and resorted to oppressive measures against them, daily reported quoting him as saying.

MP Khalid Al Shatti urged the government to work in accordance with a well organized strategy and transparency to correct the demographic structure in a legal framework without any abuse.

Interior ministry assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali recently announced that 213 expatriates have been deported during the past few days for committing grave traffic violations. The violations included driving without a driver’s license, running the red traffic light for a second time, using private vehicles to carry passengers and exceeding speed limits by 40 km, said Ali, adding that he has received instructions from the interior minister to apply the traffic law strictly.

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