Kuwait Law: Defamation Online

Post by Fajer Ahmed

So last week, Mark got accused of defamation and I just so happened to be working on a case regarding defamation at the office which is why I decided to write about it in this post.

What is defamation?
Defamation is an umbrella where all these other acts fall under: libel, calumny, vilification, slander and traducement (lawyers and their complicated words). Basically what defamation means is the coommunication of false statements that harms an individual/company/product/doggy/sect/book/religion/object etc

I know what you guys are most likely thinking, how can someone be accused of defamation for something written online? Most of you have most likely heard someone say there are no internet crimes in Kuwait. Well, that’s not true. Yes, technically there is no law dedicated to what happens online and there is no law that states anything about what anyone does virtually except for the new commercial law that has one article stating that board members can join board members meetings virtually (which I thought was awesome). But, just because there are no laws that regulate anything that takes place online it does not mean you can not get punished in Kuwait for defamation. So lets look at the law:

Article 209
“Any person who attributes to another, in a public place or within the earshot or sight of a person other that the victim, an event which hurts his reputation, shall be punished by incarceration for a period not exceeding 2 years and a fine not exceeding two thousand Rupees or either of both penalties”

Okay I know the article is not clear, and there was a lot of debate when I was back in law school whether this article can be implemented on someone that is defamed virtually. Thanks to the ministry, they’ve stated that it does apply. Here is a link to a statement by the MOI [Link]. There is even a case where Article 209 was used against tweeps.

There is also a department for cyber-crime in the MOI that falls under the General Department of Criminal Investigation.

So what does all the above mean? Do we or do we not have freedom of speech in Kuwait? Are we not allowed to state our opinions? Well we do have freedom of speech by the constitution and to some extent, we enjoy that in newspapers and on twitter. You can state your opinion but you need to state facts and you have to have good intentions and not harm anyones reputation or be rude.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Note: There is another article for defamation in newspapers under law no.3 for 2006 and other crimes can happen online.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.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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Kuwait Law: Sexual Crimes

Post by Fajer Ahmed

Last week I was helping out a friend with a university project related to sexual crimes under Kuwait’s Penal Law and I thought it would be something interesting to share on the blog as well because there’s a lot of confusion on the subject. Whether you or I agree or do not agree with the law, please stay safe and legal readers.

Note: Where I have written a person is guilty and age does not matter, that means the age does not matter for the crime to occur. That does not mean the person gets punished if underaged, instead juvenile laws are followed.

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Kuwait Law: Animal Rights

Post by Fajer Ahmed

With the very recent unfortunate animal mass murder event in Kuwait, I wanted to discuss the very unfortunate laws that regulate animal abuse in Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti constitution does not mention any animal rights.
The Kuwaiti penal (criminal law) does not specify that the abuse of animals is a crime.

However the only law that discusses the killing of an animal is article 253 of the criminal law:

A person who kills an animal owned by another, gives it a poisonous or harmful substance, injures it, makes it useless or decreases its benefits, deliberately and unjustifiable shall be punished up to 2 years of imprisonment and/or shall pay up to 2000 rupees

People make the mistake to think that the above article makes animal abuse a crime, it does not. The article specifies that the animal has to belong to someone so there is no regards for stray dogs. The article also specifies that the animal has to belong to someone other than the abuser. So if someone tortures their own dog, they are not punished.

Situation A

Person X kills the dog of person Y, with intent and for no reason. Person X is a criminal.

Situation B

Person X kills a stray dog, person X is not a criminal.

If you are wondering why the article is written that way, its because animals are defined in Kuwaiti law as a materialistic item, in other words… an object. Your dog is considered to be like your phone, your car or like your laptop. Animals in other countries are considered living creatures while in Kuwait the article above on animal killing is located under vandalism in the penal law.

Some of laws are appalling and I am trying think of ways we can get them to change the one on animal abuse. Here are my suggestions on how we could possibly have them change the law (please email me if you have other ideas):

1- Talk to the parliament members, whether you voted for them or against them, whether you believe in voting or not, talk to them, they legally represent the whole nation, Kuwaiti and non Kuwaiti, individual or an organization. CALL THEM. WRITE TO THEM! http://www.kna.kw/clt/index.asp (the site is getting more interactive, ask for their numbers, or email me I have some)

2- Call or write to the municipality http://www.baladia.gov.kw/cbox/

3- Protest, write or sign a petition, ask for a decree (its way more efficient and faster than a law)

Sometimes a situation must happen for a new decree, law or bylaw to be enforced or issues. Let this be one.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.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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Kuwait laws you don’t need to know: Who let the dogs out?

Post by Fajer Ahmed

As inspiration from an app called “The Dumbest Laws” I have decided to make a series of posts called “Kuwait laws you don’t need to know” so I could inform you on things you don’t need to be informed on. I don’t know how many of these posts I can come up with but one of my favorite things to do while working is finding and reading these weird laws.

So anyways, here is the first one, it’s an excerpt from an officially translated version (ignore their grammatical errors) of Law No.9 from 1969 “With Regards To The Possession of Dogs and Preventive Measures Against Rabies”:

Article 1
Possession of dogs is not permitted unless a license is obtained from the Ministry of Health

Article 2
License of one or more dogs requires an application to be submitted to the competent veterinary center giving the following details:

1- Name of applicant, title, age, nationality and address
2- The location where the dog will be kept
3- Breed of dog, color and distinctive marks
4- The source of where the dog was imported

Article 5
A collar with a metal plate shall be put around each dog, giving the serial number referred to, the plates are obtained from competent veterinary free of charge, the dog owner should request a replacement, in which case he will have to pay 250 fils.

If a dog is arrested without a plate it will be sent to the Dog Detainment Center, and will not be handed to the owner, unless he requests so 7 days from the day of arrest, and pays a fee of KD1

Article 6
All dogs of all types shall not be left in public places without being controlled with a mask on their mouth

Article 15
The provisions herein apply to Kuwait City. The City of Kuwait with regards to the implementation of this article means the vicinities surrounded by the third ring road, the Health and Educational Areas and the Sulbikhat area, unless the dog belongs to a Bedouin as watch or hunt dogs, whether the owners live in the city or the desert

Article 16
Violators of this law will be liable to a maximum term of one month imprisonment maximum and/or KD30 fine.

Keep in mind, this was back in 1969.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.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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Kuwait Law: The Labor Law Post

Post by Fajer Ahmed

The majority of the emails I get are regarding employment rights or should I say the lack of. I completely understand why I am getting all these questions. I am personally tired of how every time I walk into a store and ask an employee how long their shift is I get ridiculous answers like 8AM to midnight!

I realize how tough it is to go and speak out to your employer about a violation since I’ve been in that situation before. I also realize how bad Kuwait’s reputation has been over the years because of the way employees are being treated.

Recently I was hired by a company to help with some employee issues. The owner of the company stated that he didn’t know how he was supposed to treat his employees so I made an easy to read table with all the obligations of an employer as well as the rights of the employees. The full version of the law is hard-to-read and long so I rewrote it into a more direct and easy to understand language and placed them in a table for you below.

The law articles are mentioned in brackets for easy reference and the full version of the law is available [Here]. Click on the link below to view the rest of the post that includes the easy-to-read the table.

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Kuwait Law: How does a non-Kuwaiti become a Kuwaiti?

Post by Fajer Ahmed

According to the Kuwaiti government, in 2008 Kuwait’s population consisted of 3.3 million people, 2.3 million of which are foreigners. That’s double the number of Kuwaitis so I can understand why the Kuwaiti government would want to protect the Kuwaiti citizenship, and therefore making the procedures/requirements for getting a Kuwaiti citizenship tougher than other countries. But how tough are they?

Before I get into that, I have to explain the unique situation of the citizenship law that states how a non-Kuwaiti may become a Kuwaiti:

1) It was one of the first laws in Kuwait, even before the constitution and before Kuwait was officially recognized as a country. The citizenship law was promulgated (published) in 1959, via an Amiri decree. (Kuwait didn’t have a parliament then)

2) The law has been edited and re-edited, written and rewritten, promulgated and un-promuglated over and over throughout the years; 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2000…

3) Under article 1(e) of the Administrative Court Legislation, the courts do not have jurisdiction over issues pertaining to the issuance of a citizenship. Basically what it means is the court can’t deal, handle or look into any issues that has to do with the citizenship.

How can a non-kuwaiti can be considered for the Kuwaiti citizenship?

First of all you need to have fulfilled the three requirements below:

Then you need one of the below:

So let’s say you have all the requirements, let’s say for example Mark (he is Arab and has a decent job) becomes Muslim for 5 years or his family has been in Kuwait since 1965 or the government really thinks that 248am.com is making significant contributions to the country. So what does mark have to do to get the Kuwaiti nationality? First thing Mark has to do is apply to citizenship department (All paper requirements found here) then:

I have deliberately missed out some points regarding the issuance of citizenship’s because I did not want to complicate things. If you require any further clarifications please let me know, also if you have any stories you want to share feel free to do so.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.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.

Picture on top by zDistrict


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Kuwait Law: Ramadan

Post by Fajer Ahmed

Ramadan Mubarak everyone. Since Ramadan is starting I wanted to write a post just informing you on Ramadan legal issues:

Working Hours

I am sure you have all noticed the fact that working hours decrease in Ramadan. That’s not just your boss being nice but working hours have to decrease during Ramadan because it’s the law. According to article 64 of Kuwait Labor Law (for the private sector only):

“It is forbidden to allow workers to work for more than 48 hours per week or 8 hours a day, except in such events as are specified in this Law. Working hours during the month of Ramadan shall be equal to 36 hours per week”

A maximum 36 hours a week in Ramdan for a 6 day working week is 6 hours a day (basically a 2 hour discount).

Eating in Public

There is a legislation dedicated for just eating/drinking in public in daytime during Ramadan. The legislation is the smallest I have ever seen and is under law No. 44/1968 if anyone wants to look it up.

Punishment up to KD100 and/or jail for 1 month:
i) for anyone that eats/drinks in public in daytime during Ramadan
ii) for anyone that helps or forces anyone to eat/drink in daytime during Ramadan

Also, a business that is caught serving food/beverages to the public in daytime during Ramadan will be punished by having their place shutdown for 2 months.

Again Ramadan Mubarak to everyone.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.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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Kuwait Law: How much is your body worth?

Post by Fajer Ahmed

How much are your body parts worth in Kuwait? From a legal perspective and a legal perspective only, according to the Decree on the Regulation of the Table of Blood Money (DIYAH):

If someone hurts you by mistake with no criminal intent then they pay you the amounts listed below. If someone hurts you with criminal intent, then they pay the amounts listed below in addition to also getting punished for the crime.

Just a small note, the body parts add up. Death is actually cheaper than breaking an arm, a leg and losing an eye. Some animals cost more than KD10,000 so you would think a human life would be worth more.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.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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Kuwait Law: Rent

Post by Fajer Ahmed

It’s been a while since my last post and since then I’ve gotten a lot of questions and rent was one of the most popular topics. That’s why I decided to put together a small FAQ on rent which you can take a look at below.

(All questions were answered according to rent law 35 for year 1978)

I have been living in my apartment for 3 years; can my landlord increase my rent?

No your landlord cannot increase rent. A landlord can only increase rent in the following situations:
1) If the tenant agrees to the proposed increase
2) Its been 5 years and the contract has ended (rule is once every 5 years)
3) The rent is 50% less than the market price

My landlord says he wants to increase the rent because he wants to do maintenance work? Does he have the right to do that?

No since the landlord is responsible for any maintenance and not the tenants.

I have a rental contract for 1 year but I’ve been living in the apartment for 18 months and the contract was never renewed. Now the landlord wants to kick me out. I know I have overstayed but do I have to leave immediately?

No in this situation he cannot kick you out but he can inform you to leave while giving you a grace period.
By law, if your rent contract ends and you continue living there then it renews by default for the same time of rent pay. Huh? What? Lawyers and there confusing terms… Simply put, if you pay rent on a monthly basis (which is how the majority of people pay rent in Kuwait) then your contract will renew automatically for a month at a time. If you paid rent every three months, then it will renew for 3 months, if you paid rent every 6 months your rent will renew every 6 months and so on.

What is the grace period?

Grace periods are only for when contracts renew by default (as explained above) and they depend on how often you pay your rent.

When can you really get kicked out? (with no grace period)

Reasons a landlord can kick you out are (for residencies and not commercial contracts)
1) If tenant hasn’t paid rent
2) If the tenant rents out the residency to a third person without permission
3) If the residence is being used for illegal activities
4) If the building is no longer structurally safe
5) If the landlord wants to rebuild the building or reconstruct it. There are a lot of variables for this one which I won’t get into.

My American friends can rent an apartment without a marriage certificate but I can’t seem to do the same? Do different citizens get treated differently in Kuwait by law?

Nationalities are not mentioned in the law so the law doesn’t talk about one nationality being treated differently than another (unless its Kuwaiti but that’s not in the rent laws), and therefore it is very disappointing to see that this kind of discrimination is being implemented in Kuwait.

Marriage certificates are also not mentioned in the law and my guess and only guess is that they ask for marriage certificates because unmarried couples might possibly engage in illegal sexual activities. The law restricts apartments from being used for illegal activities and sexual activity between two unmarried couples is considered illegal by law.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.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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Two wrongs don’t make a right

Post 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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