Two wrongs don’t make a right

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

So I got a parking sticker yesterday for parking illegally, let’s talk about this from a legal perspective and a legal perspective only:

1) The constitution says no crime or punishment only by law. Can you please show me where in the law it says the punishment for parking in a no parking zone is to stick a sticker on the violating car?

2) Punishments are to be carried out by police officers. Mall and campus security are not police officers.

3) Do you know that it’s illegal to stick stickers on cars? Even your own car.

I take full legal responsibility for my actions and call for the law to be executed upon me. I know what I did was wrong and a no parking ticket would have been worse than a sticker, it would have cost me more anyways. But I just get bothered when someone does something illegal in the name of the law, don’t do something illegal to let me know that I was illegal! Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at fajer.ar@gmail.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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Sami Alramyan on EyeEm

Posted by Mark

Sami Alramyan, a photographer based in Kuwait was recently featured on the photography blog EyeEm. Sami does a lot of black and white street photography and recently represented Kuwait for the second year running in “The 24 Hour Project“.

You can check out his photos [Here]
You can check out the feature on him [Here]


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Kuwait Law: Passport Rights

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

THE QUESTION
Hey Fajer, I work for a private company in Kuwait and the company has my passport (and other employees) and refuses to keep it with us because they’re afraid we might leave the country. Do they have a right to keep our passports? I was told they don’t but I’m afraid if I make a big issue out of this then I might get fired.

THE RESPONSE
So this question/answer is only for private company employees

Do employers have the right to keep an employees passport?

No, No and NOOOOO!

This is a very common question, at work and now from my readers on the blog.

Why is it illegal?

The Ministry resolution number 143/A/2010 says in (Article 1) “It is prohibited for private sector employers and oil sector employers to hold traveling documents of their employees”

Then (Article 2) mentions a punishment from the labor law for employers in the private sector who do not follow (Article 1). The punishment mentioned in (Article 141) from the labor law is as follows:

“In the event where the violator does not remedy the violation within the specified period, he shall be subject to a fine of not less than KD100 and not more than KD200 for each of the workers who are involved in the violation. In the event of recurrence within three years from the date of the final judgment, the punishment shall be doubled.” This means that your employer will get fined KD100-200 for keeping your passport.

Can you get fired?

No, No and NOOOOO!

You can not get fired except for reasons stated in the law which I won’t get into now but basically non of them is for telling your boss to be legal.

I want everyone to know the following for any labor law violations by your employers in the future:

- There is a hotline you can call (no one picked up when I called) 128

- There is a site where you can file a complaint (no one replied to me yet) http://www.mosal.gov.kw/

- There is also an NGO organized by Bibi Nasser called Social Work Society of Kuwait located in mishref www.q8sws.com Tel: 25375031 they might be able to help you with issues, even though most of their work is for domestic and construction workers

- According to the labor law, if you have a complaint against your employer, the Minstry of Labor and Social affairs will look into it before it gets to court and will try to resolve it

- If it does go to court, the court has exempted laborers from any court fees

- I sat with officials 2 weeks ago from the Minstry of Labor and Social Affairs for a research paper by John Hopkins about domestic workers in Kuwait and their rights. The officials I met with told me that an employee who’s passport is held by their employer can come in if he or she really needs to travel and get a paper from them that will allow the employee to travel

Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at fajer.ar@gmail.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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Take a tour of the new General Department of Information System

Posted by Mark

AGi architects – General Department of Information System, Kuwait from AGi architects on Vimeo.

I honestly have no idea what the General Department of Information System are in charge of but this is the design that got approved for their new offices and I think it looks really beautiful.

The project is based on three principles: representativeness, security and functionality, turning the complex with a total gross area of 135,482 sqm into a strong civil icon representing Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Building design aims for the clear transmission of a conceptual duality it derives from: technology, innovation and transparency on the one hand versus strength, stability and security, which are inherent to the Ministry of Interior Affairs that will occupying the building, on the other.

This concept is driven in the building by two contrasting layers that are superimposed onto one another. From afar the building is perceived as a light volume elevated from the ground floor, becoming a landmark in the urban landscape for the citizens, while a closer approach will show the massiveness of the stone plinth, a lower part of the building that is opened to the public the main gates and lifts from ground to hold the upper levels lighter glass structures that house the offices of the various departments.

You can also check out some 3D renderings of the building on the AGi Architects website [Here]


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Traffic Violation Notification

Posted by Mark

Last month on March 16th, a speeding camera flashed me late at night on my way home. Since I had recently signed up with the MOI’s traffic violations notification service, I marked the day down on my calendar so I could figure out how long it would take before I get an SMS. Finally, yesterday (April 1st) I got the message saying I owe a KD30 fine for speeding.

So basically it takes around 2 weeks from the day you get caught for the fine to register. That’s not that bad.


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Kuwait Law: Shoplifting

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Hi everyone, my name is Fajer and I’m a legal counsel at a local law firm. One of Mark’s forum users had a law related question and he thought it might be a good idea to get me involved on the blog with law related posts starting with the questions his forum user had. I’ll post the users problem first followed by my response below it.

THE PROBLEM
My brother was accused of shoplifting a packet of AAA batteries at a supermarket. He was leaving the supermarket when the detector at the exit started buzzing and they found the battery pack on him. It was by accident and he tried to explain that to them but he was arrested, booked and slapped with a robbery case as well as a travel ban.

My questions are the following:
1) What is the law here towards shoplifting?
2) Is it justifiable to send a guy to jail and keep him there for more than 24 hours without a case?
3) I heard from a friend of mine supermarkets usually don’t get first time offenders arrested and just end up paying a penalty instead is that true?
4) Is it possible to friendly settle this case out of court?

THE RESPONSE
The answer to your situation is not very straight forward but I will try to go through your questions and explain everything to you.

1) What is the law here towards shoplifting?
There is no specific law in Kuwait towards shoplifting but the act of shoplifting falls under the crime of robbery. The official English translation of the Kuwaiti criminal law describes robbery in Article 217 as “A person is guilty of robbery, if he embezzles movable property, owned by a third party, with the intent to acquire it” … ahhh lawyers and their confusing legal sentences… so wait lets break things down.

In every law, for any country, all crimes consist of two parts:

Point here is that you have to have intent to steal to be charged with robbery. If your brother forgot to pay for the batteries by accident, the verdict should be innocent but to get to that verdict you need to prove “Mens Rea”.

2) Is it justifiable to send a guy to jail and keep him there for more than 24 hours without a case?
According to the new criminal procedures law (and without getting into detail), the police officers have the right to hold someone up to 48hrs (it used to be longer) if they are accused of a crime. This would not be in prison but in a police station with the aim of starting an initial investigation before going to court. Their initial investigation might be to ask a few questions, find evidence and to figure out what laws apply.

3) I heard from a friend of mine supermarkets usually don’t get first time offenders arrested and just end up paying a penalty instead is that true?
Article 143 states that it is a crime to not report a robbery so the Supermarket was abiding by the law when they reported the crime to the police. Now some supermarkets might be more forgiving and let it slide, but, “letting it slide” is a crime on their part and so I could understand why some supermarkets wouldn’t want to let it slide.

An interesting fact, if you’re inside a supermarket and you pick up a chocolate bar, eat it and then leave the supermarket without paying for it, then you have not “taken the property from the possession of a third party” (as the law article goes on to define embazzlment) therefore you have not moved the object from the ownership of the supermarket and so is not defined as robbery. This definition caused a lot of problems in Kuwait because people were using services and not paying for them or eating at restaurants and not paying for the meal so another law was passed where it said that this action was not a crime… but you had to pay a fine of KD75 plus the cost of the service or food you ate. So most likely that’s the penalty you heard about.

4) Is it possible to friendly settle this case out of court?
No it is not possible to settle robbery cases in Kuwait. Some crimes in Kuwait like robbery are considered to be against the community and not just the supermarket and so one individual does not have the right to settle it. The criminal court needs to look into the case.

So I know you didn’t ask me this, but…

5) What is the punishment for robbery in Kuwait?
Article 219 of the criminal states the punishment as being up to 2 years of jail time or/and a fee of up to 2000 Rupees (yes the law is that old that the fees are still in Indian Rupees).

So this means that a judge can ask the accused to go to jail for 2 weeks or 2 months or 6 months and 3 days just as long as it is not more than 2 years. Or he can make you pay 100 rupees or 1500 rupees. He could also decide no punishment or both a jail time and fine. The judges have a lot of power here.

But the maximum isn’t always 2 years because Article 221 was added and changed it to 3 years for certain situations:

Hope the above helps you out. One more thing I forgot to mention, the cost of the item doesn’t matter so a packet of AAA batteries or a gold necklace are treated the same.

Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at fajer.ar@gmail.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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Take a peek inside the VVIP Terminal

Posted by Mark

I’ve never seen the terminal up close but based on the photos it’s a lot bigger and nicer than I imagined it to be. I’m also surprised there aren’t even more photos online… or at least I couldn’t find any. Check out some photos of the terminal [Here]

Note: First photo from [Here]


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Cargo Ship Averts Collision with KPC Building

Posted by Mark

Yesterday morning a cargo ship heading into Shuwaikh port veered off path and nearly collided with the KPC building. The cargo ship had to be pulled back out into sea by tugboats and an investigation is currently taking place into the cause of this incident.

The pictures in this post were taken by KPC employees and it kinda looks like their might have been an oil leak as well. [Source]


[YouTube]


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Kuwait Energy: Green Wall Documentary

Posted by Mark

“The Kuwait Green Wall” project, which aims to plant 315,000 trees on a stretch of 420 kilometers on the borders of the country in a call to implement effective solutions to the rising environmental and climate issues.

I would rather they plant 315,000 trees in Salmiya where I can at least see them instead of all the way in the middle of no where but that’s just me. Sorry I’m just pissed off because the middle sidewalk in old Salmiya has still not been planted. [YouTube]

Warning: Documentary may cause drowsiness

Update: Maybe they should first launch a campaign to stop cutting trees in Kuwait?

Photo by @BasilAlsalem


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Iraq Invasion Anniversary

Posted by Mark

Not a lot of people might know this but back in 2003 I ran a warblog with a few a friends of mine called qHate. The blog started just as the Iraq invasion was going to take place and so we started covering life in Kuwait during that period. Since it was the anniversary of the Iraq invasion a couple of days back, here are some of my favorite posts from that blog:

Life of a Soldier in Kuwait
Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Pictures of Soldiers on streets of Kuwait
The First Siren
The Gas Masks
Just a bit of fun
People shouldn’t live like this
Strange Days
My Latest Adventure
Pictures of Souq Sharq after missile attack
Wolf Blitzer

For more posts you can visit qHate [Here]


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