Kuwaiti Emir orders payment of prisoners’ debts

Manama: Kuwait’s Emir Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah on Sunday ordered the payment of debts for citizens and expatriates held in prison for failing to pay them up, the Emiri Court said.

“His Highness the Emir’s generous decision was announced in celebration of the auspicious occasions of Kuwait’s 57th National Day and 27th Anniversary of Liberation,” the court said in a brief statement carried by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

The money owed by the prisoners will be borne by the Emir according to specific regulations, the statement added.

Thousands of Kuwaitis have been facing legal woes after they failed to pay up their debts, resulting in prison terms.

A local society, the Kuwaiti Takaful Society for Prisoners Care, founded in 2000 and recognised as a public welfare body in 2005, has been offering financial assistance to prisoners to ensure they are released.

Society officials say their aim is to help prisoners go home and be reunited with their families, especially if they had not been aware of financial implications of some of their acts.

They cited the example of a man who responded to an advert by a company promising to help pay his debt.

He wrote cheques, but failed to collect a single fil, eventually getting arrested and sent to prison.

In another case cited by the society, another Kuwaiti was behind bars because his eldest son got involved with the wrong “friends” and started bleeding him dry to satisfy his desires. The son finally fooled the father into vouching for him as he bought a car, which turned out to be three cars that the son later sold and left his father with the debt.

In another case, carried by Kuna, a father bought a plot of land to build a house but ran into problems and lost his business, which led him into debt.

As he was about to be arrested, his son stepped in and transferred the debts to his own account. The son was arrested and imprisoned. Takaful said that such stories prompted its action to help secure the release of prisoners by paying off their debts.


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