By Agence France Presse (AFP)
Thursday, January 13, 2011
KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait M.P.s decided unanimously Wednesday to form a parliamentary panel to investigate allegations a man died as a result of police torture, after pressure on the interior minister to open a probe.
The five-member panel was given two weeks to submit its report on the death at a police station Tuesday of Mohammad Ghazzai al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti citizen in his 30’s.
Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Khaled al-Sabah welcomed the probe, saying that he would punish anyone proven responsible for the man’s death regardless of his post, but urged M.P.s to wait until the results of the probe are made public.
The minister also repeated a statement issued by the Interior Ministry late Tuesday in which it said the man died in the hospital after complaining of chest pains.
He said there was no need to torture the man to extract confessions since he was caught red-handed Saturday with 24 bottles of whisky in his car and confessed to trading in liquor. Trading and use of liquor is totally banned in the conservative Muslim state.
Several lawmakers, however, accused the minister of providing false information to Parliament and called on him to resign, saying they would petition to quiz him over the case.
Independent M.P. Hussein Mazyed said the man was tortured mercilessly in the police station and that “they inserted a stick into his rectum.”
Opposition M.P. Mussallam al-Barrak produced what he said a hospital report on the case which said various parts of the man’s body were severely beaten and that he was dead when he arrived at the hospital.
The hospital report also said the man’s legs and hands were tied, according to Barrak.
Some lawmakers likened the way the man was tortured to the treatment of Kuwaitis at the hands of the forces of late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during their occupation of Kuwait in 1990. “This incident constitutes a black point in Kuwait’s [human rights] record,” the independent Kuwait Society for Human Rights said Tuesday. – A.F.P.