Court orders paper to compensate defendant
KUWAIT: A court yesterday sentenced a local newspaper to pay the second defendant in the Al-Sadeq Mosque bombing case, Jarrah Nimer, compensation of KD 5,000 for slander, after he was acquitted by the criminal court and the courts of appeal and cassation. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) had published Nimer’s photo on his arrest, saying that he owned the vehicle that dropped the prime suspect at the mosque, which brought him a great deal of backlash on social media networks, although the courts later acquitted him.
Fishermen decry ‘unfair treatment’
Chairman of Kuwait Fishermen Union Thaher Al-Sowayyan stressed that fishermen have been unfairly treated by unstudied decisions concerning their profession without even consulting them. Sowayyan added that Kuwaiti fishermen suffered considerable losses this season because of a lack of expatriate labor working on their fishing boats, after the authorities decided to stamp their passports after sailing out to international waters for shrimping and on their return to Kuwait.
“This decision made many of them quit and many expat fishermen were not allowed to reenter Kuwait,” he underlined, adding that MoI also mandated all Kuwaiti fishing boats to use the Um AlMaradem exit, which doubled the distance, cost and duration of the trip from five to 10 days. “Half the Kuwaiti fishing fleet might stop operating and some have already stopped, while owners are still paying local banks, companies, the industrial bank and brokers,” he reminded, noting that after being fed up with the new decisions, over 100 expatriate fishermen who had their passports with them fled the country, leaving boats behind without even notifying their sponsors. Sowayyan added that recruiting new workers is also getting harder because the runaway fishermen still hold valid residencies in their passports and sponsors cannot get new ones until previous sponsorships are cancelled. “These idle boats will lead to a lack of local catches, and thus fish prices will skyrocket,” he explained, urging MoI to allocate another closer exit and use special passportlike documents for sailing in and out instead of leaving the passports with fishermen.
He also urged the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR) to protect the profession and MPs to give the issue due care. Sowayyan said that the total shrimp catch in Nov 2016 was 353,736 tons compared to 371,427 tons in the same period last year. “This means that local markets were deprived of 118,000 tons of shrimp,” he underlined, pointing out that the union will hold a seminar next month to discuss the problem and possible solutions.