Kuwait response to Duterte’s ‘maid rapes’ claims: ‘We are confused’

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Kuwait has stressed that it is still waiting for details on the deaths and rapes reported by Philippine’s President Duterte, according to Deputy Foreign Minister of Kuwait, Khalid Al-Jarallah.

He added “We have already expressed our regret and surprise. Again, we are sorry and surprised when we hear such statements by the President of the Philippines, especially as we have explained to the Philippine officials our position on the cases, and asked them to identify the cases they referred to; but they did not provide us with any details."

"We have a law for domestic labor, which is an integrated law and praised by the international community, and we confirm that the law governs their presence and work."

 

Click  Philippines Embassy guidelines for Amnesty

What its Like Inside a Prison in Kuwait...

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A reader recently spent over a month in prison for driving his mum’s car without having a driving license (he nearly got deported too). He wrote about his experience on his blog

When in prison

So many of you readers know that I was in prison for a good month and 17 days, yes you read that right (waiting for you all to judge me). A lot of people ask me ‘what is it like being in prison, is it okay if I ask you about prison’?

Honestly I’m not embarrassed to say I’ve been to prison, yes I did a mistake and yes I got punished for it, isn’t that how it works, THE LAW. For those wanting to know why did I go in, NO I DID NOT ROB, KILL, DO DRUGS OR SELL DRUGS, I merely drove a car (mom’s not stolen) without license, yes if you are from K-TOWN that’s a huge offense, it’s not India where you can slip a 100rs and get away with it, you get deported for shit like this bro!

Anyways, so this is how I got behind bars, one friday afternoon during the prayer I decided to go for a drive, who knew this would be a very god damn long drive. So, as I was driving not far from home, roads clear, the sound of prayer, and the 50 degree scorching heat, 5 minutes to driving and the only car that decided to be on the road was a police car (fml). I was driving pretending like I didn’t notice the cop, but sadly he noticed me, stopped me, asked me for my license (didn’t have one) and when I told him I didn’t have one, he asked me to get outta the car and to sit in his car, I quietly went and sat in his car without arguing, he stood outta the car with a phone next to his ear, and me I literally almost pissed my pants sitting in the car. He then sat in the car and drove me to the main traffic department (shuwaikh) and took to the head of the dept (btw my mom’s car was towed and impounded). As I stood in front of the head with a shirt that said FCUK YOU and beach shorts and .500 fills MAX slippers, without hesitation he signed my deportation papers and boom, I was driven to the deportation jail in 15 minutes. As i walked in jail, my parents, my brother and my sister law stood there with the worst sight they could see, their son/brother in handcuffs. They told my parents straight ‘I’m sorry but his deportation papers have been signed and there’s nothing you can do about it” and took me in. As they were taking me to my cell (they had taken my civil id, wallet, money and my phone at the entrance) I entered what looked like hell, people screaming, starring, crying and wooing seeing a 21-year-old boy walk with handcuffs in his hand.

What is like being inside you ask? You share a cell with 14/15 people, people accused of drug dealing, rape, no visa etc. You get food twice a day (rice, dal, cheese, eggs, juice, laban, dates, water) Oh and I learned how to FRENCH INHALE in prison since there’s not much you can do there. Every week they make each cell (15 people) clean the whole prison and trust me that became fun after a few days of staying inside, but the only problem is, picture this, 15 people cleaning phase one of the Avenues Mall, that’s how big the prison was. There were no phone calls allowed or any sort of communication with the outside world (only family visits on Tuesday’s 9am-11am) but I made a few really good friends inside that helped make a call or two everyday to my mom and dad. My everyday was eat, sleep, mentally kill myself and PRAY.

Now my fam outside were trying everything in their power to get me out, this is the phase in your life where you know who your real friends are and who are those friends who speak beautiful words about you (sarcasm) when you are inside. Oh, you have no idea the stuff I heard about my so called friends when I got outside prison from mom and dad. FAMILY IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HAVE YOUR BACK NO MATTER WHAT. That time your back up’s, your vasta and your pasta are nowhere to be seen, take this by me.

Finally after 1 month and 17 days, I was out.

I got out morning 11am, first time seeing sunlight after 47 days. I shivered the time I stepped outta the prison, it’s a feeling nothing in this world can give, FREEDOM.

So yeah then things got back to normal and everybody lived happily ever after.

THE END

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister reaffirms care for expatriates

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday the expatriate workers in Kuwait enjoy care and appreciation. The affairs relating to their stay and work contracts are governed by the relevant rules of law, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah told reporters Wednsday evening during a reception held by India Embassy in Kuwait to celebrate the Republic Day of India.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah was teh chief guest at a function organised by Indian Embassy to celebrate teh Republic Day.

Citing the annual review reports that praise Kuwait's human right records, he said the country addresses the issues of foreign expats in "a candid and transparent way that preserves their rights" as per the provisions of law.

"These issues as well as the recent incident do not affect the country's humanitarian fame," Al-Jarallah said. "The huge expatriate community in Kuwait, including nearly 276,000 from the Philippines, testifies to the care and stability enjoyed by the expats.

"The Filipino workers enjoy comfortable conditions that guarantee their rights regardless of the recent unjustifiable fuss," he pointed out.
On behalf of Kuwait, Al-Jarallah expressed regret over the comments, recently made by President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte on the Filipino workers in Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry made its point clear to the Filipino authorities regarding the reported cases and demanded evidence of any cases but they failed to produce any, he revealed. Asked whether Kuwait plans to amend the provisions of the labor law, particularly those relating to domestic workers, Al-Jarallah said the current law is modern and won praise of the competent international organization. He affirmed that the countries that have large expatriate communities in Kuwait were informed that their nationals are held in high esteem and enjoy care and respect. He ruled out any tendency to suspend residency of any Filipino workers

Two planets in unique star system are very likely habitable, scientists say

Exoplanets orbiting Trappist-1 have thrilled astronomers thanks to their Earth-like potential to harbour water

Arizona: Scientists have identified two planets circling round a dim dwarf star as especially likely candidates for habitable worlds, with probable water and a source of heat, conditions thought necessary for life beyond Earth.

Since their discovery last year, the seven planets and their star, called Trappist-1, have thrilled astronomers hunting for a world resembling Earth. Never before had scientists found so many Earth-sized planets around a single star, or in a zone where the extreme temperatures of space would not obliterate the chances of life.

 

The finding suggested that there may be planets as rocky and large as Earth all over the Milky Way, and scientists quickly set to work analysing the Trappist-1 system.

With colleagues in Hungary, Dr Amy Barr, of the Planetary Science Institute built mathematical models of the seven planets and their interiors, and found that six of the seven worlds likely have water , as liquid or ice, with a global ocean possible on one. The team then modelled the planets’ orbits to determine a likely surface temperature on the worlds.

“That’s one of the main innovations of the paper,” Barr told the Guardian. “The planets are also on eccentric orbits - kind of egg shaped - so every time the planet goes around the star it gets stretched and squeezed.”

Artist’s impression of the Trappist-1 planetary system, which was discovered last year. Source: Nasa

Jupiter’s moon Io, experiences the same kind of push-pull , called tidal heat. Io’s surface is riven by erupting volcanoes, lava flows, scars and caldera. Barr said the same forces are probably at work in the Trappist-1 system: “The planet kind of works its own internal friction, because that stretching and squeezing creates heat in the interior.”

In the paper, set to be published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the team concluded that planets b and c (each world goes by a lower-case letter), experience tidal heat, and that planet c likely has little to no water, but mostly iron and rock. Planets d and e - the two identified as most likely to be habitable - also experience tidal heat, they found, but much less.

They calculated that those planets are “in this kind of temperate region”, Barr said, with a “very reasonable surface temperatures”. Planet d, the team estimates, has a temperature around 15C (59F) or perhaps as low as slightly warmer than the melting point of ice. Planet e was colder, Barr said: “the temperatures you would get in Antarctica, but also reasonable”.

The likelihood of tidal heating is encouraging to scientists in search of planets with the conditions for life. Tidal heat not only warms a planet, but also drives chemistry and flow in its mantle, conditions amenable to the development of life - at least as humans know it.

Because Nasa has yet to launch its next generation space telescope, the James Webb, scientists like Barr and her colleagues have turned to computers to investigate puzzles with limited data. A paper last year found that Trappist-1, although older and more dim than our sun, projects a stellar wind far more severe than the solar wind that lashes Earth from our sun.

This wind likely stripped away the atmosphere - another condition for life - from the planets closest to Trappist-1, while the more distant planets fared better. Another team investigated whether the Trappist-1 worlds could hold water - another condition - and found that four of the seven might.

But while the pieces of research by various teams have generally supported each other, Barr and other astronomers, astrophysicists and geophysicists are most eager for more observations. Should the James Webb launch on schedule this year, it will provide far more data about specific exoplanets, and ease the challenge of writing about a system as a whole.

“It’s hard to write a paper about seven planets all at once,” Barr said.

Duterte asks Filipinos to leave Kuwait

Strongman’s statement comes in protest against alleged ill-treatment of migrants

Barbara Mae Dacanay, Correspondent

Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Kuwait to pack up and leave, following alleged “inhuman treatment” of Filipino migrants, many of whom have committed suicide.

“I’m sorry. The Filipinos there, you can all go home. If you all get out of Kuwait, they will also be having a hell of a time adjusting there,” said Duterte, before leaving for India to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-India Commemorative Summit. He was also scheduled to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations, along with all other Asean heads of governments.

“One more incident about a woman, a Filipina being raped there, I’m going to stop, I’m going to ban,” Duterte ranted. He did not give details about the OFW who was recently raped in Kuwait. There are more than 250,000 Filipinos working in Kuwait.

Addressing government officials in Kuwait, Duterte said, “Can I just ask you now to treat my countrymen as human beings with dignity? I don’t want to fight with you. We need your help. You are helping us, but if it [the assistance] ends up with misery, rape, and my countrymen committing suicide [they might as well leave Kuwait]. We are poor, we may need your help, but we will not do it [work] at the expense of the dignity of the Filipino,” Duterte said.

He added: “Kuwait has always been an ally. But please do something [about] it,” stating that if he cannot solve the problems encountered by OFWs in Kuwait, “then there is no reason for me to stay in this position a minute longer”.

On January 19, the Labour Department suspended the deployment of OFWs to Kuwait because of the death of seven Filipinos there.

The ban was mulled even earlier because of alleged sexual abuses suffered by Filipina household workers in Kuwait. Other OFWs there have complained of long working hours, maltreatment, and non-payment of salaries, said Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello.

“OFWs are most preferred overseen workers,” said Bello, demanding better treatment of OFWs, especially domestic helpers.

At the time, Duterte hinted he would also push for a total ban of OFWs to Kuwait.

Sixty per cent of all OFWs in Kuwait are domestic helpers.

Some 10 million OFWs are based worldwide. Their average remittances of $25 billion to $30 billion a year have been helping the Philippine economy. The Philippine government started sending Filipino workers abroad in the mid-60s.

Source: Gulfnews

Illegals can leave Kuwait without paying fines, won’t be blacklisted

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The interior ministry issued a decree yesterday granting a general amnesty to expatriates living in Kuwait without valid visas. The amnesty runs between Jan 29 and Feb 22, 2018 and is expected to benefit nearly 130,000 expatriates in violation of residency laws. The amnesty decree (no. 64/2018) gives illegal residents two options – they can either leave the country during the abovementioned period through any port without getting permission from any authority and without paying any penalties; or they can legalize their status and continue residing in Kuwait after paying all fines and obtaining a valid visa without being referred to the investigation department.

Residency violators who are banned from travelling or have a court case should visit the residency affairs department to discuss the possibility of getting a valid visa during the amnesty period. Those who leave the country during this amnesty period are allowed to enter Kuwait again if they meet the regular conditions of entry and if they were not banned for another reason.

This decree does not apply to expats who will lose their legal residency status after the amnesty period. If an illegal resident is caught during the amnesty period, they will be deported immediately. Residency violators who don’t leave the country during the amnesty period will face legal penalties, won’t be give a valid visa, will be deported, and won’t be allowed to enter Kuwait again.

Head of the interior ministry’s media security department Lt Col Nasser Buslaib stressed on the importance of this decree. “This is a great opportunity for illegal residents to resolve their legal status, especially since those who want to leave don’t have to pay fines. Also, they will have the chance to come back in the future, rather than being blacklisted if caught and deported,” he told Kuwait Times.

Those who want to legalize their status and stay in the country will pay a penalty of KD 2 for each day up to total of KD 600, even if they were in violation for a longer period. The last time an “amnesty” was granted was in January 2016, but it was partial, as violators who wanted to leave the country still had to pay fines. The last full amnesty (leaving without paying fines) was granted in 2011.

The amnesty comes as a relief for thousands of Indian workers forced to illegally extend their stay in Kuwait due to non-payment of salaries. “This comes as a great relief for the Indian workers,” said social worker Shaheen Sayyed, who had taken up their cause, according to a report in the Times of India. The paper said many of the workers, mostly from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, went to the Indian Embassy yesterday and submitted their details so that they could return home. The amnesty also comes after India’s Union Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh’s recent visit to Kuwait. Singh had taken up the issue of the workers who had not been paid.


By Nawara Fattahova

Source : Kuwait Times

Minister V K Singh Interacts With Unpaid Indian Workers

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Dr. (Gen) V K Singh interacts with unpaid Indian workers of Kharafi National at the Indian Embassy on Thursday (Jan 11 th 2018). The visiting minister held an interactive session with the Indian community at 5:00 pm on Thursday at the Indian Embassy Auditorium. During his visit, minister took up prolonging issue of unpaid Indian workers at Kharafi National Company with the Kuwaiti authorities to find a lasting solution for the issue. He also briefed the result of the meeting with the unpaid Indian workers of Kharafi National and he assured that he along with the help of Indian Embassy will do everything to get workers pending issues and will try to arrange their return to India. 

The workers of Kharafi National shared their grievances with the visiting minister. 

 
 
 

 

INDIAN WORKERS AT KHARAFI COMPANY ARE REQUESTED TO VERIFY THE LIST ONLINE FOR FINAL RELEASE

Indian Embassy in Kuwait today released the final list of Indian workers in Kharafi company who wish to immediately return to India after final cancellation of their agreement with company (final release). The list will be submitted to Public Authority of Manpower (PAM) at the earliest to enable them to complete the final cancellation procedure. "We will be submitting this lists within a day or two for the final procedure, Labour Secretary at Indian Embassy Mr Sibi US, who is rigorously following up the issue of distressed Indian workers in Kharafi Company, told IndiansinKuwait.com. The list will be handed over to the respective company camp for the signature of the employees. "We request all Indian employees who submitted their names along with project numbers to verify the list, which is available online so that the employees can verify the data and remember the serial number in the list to make them enable the signature process easier," Mr Sibi added.

The list is available at:

KharafiList/Kharafi_List_1.xlsx
KharafiList/Kharafi_List_2.xlsx
KharafiList/Kharafi_List_3.xlsx

Employees are requested to verify the civil ID number and project number they associated with as per the list so that if required, they can make correction in the sheet once it reaches their camp.

Pre verification of the list online will also help the workers to remember the serial number in this list, so that once lists reach the labour camps easily they can endorse their signature against the name without difficulties.

Any omission of names with respect to any project and worker may be added (with signature) at the end of the list manually, for that additional blank columns have been made at the end of each list.

However, those workers who want final release for joining other companies shall not add their names in this list; their list will be processed once PAM completes the process of workers who are immediately leaving Kuwait, Embassy informed.

Last week India's external affairs minister Dr Gen V K Singh held series of discussion with Kuwaiti authorities to find a lasting solution for the issue of distressed Indian workers at Kharafi Company. Minister VK Singh later met the workers at their camp and promised that Indian government is looking at all the possible options to solve the issue with a targeted deadline.

DUTERTE THREATENS WITHDRAWAL OF ALL PINOY WORKERS IN KUWAIT

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday threatened to withdraw all Filipinos working in Kuwait if another Philippine worker in the Gulf state dies.

Duterte has lamented the cases of deaths of Filipinos working in Kuwait, some of whom he said were raped and ended up committing suicide.

“One more incident about a woman, a Filipina being raped there, I’m going to stop, I’m going to ban,” Duterte said.

 Image result for DUTERTE THREATENS WITHDRAWAL OF ALL PINOY WORKERS IN KUWAIT

“I’m sorry. The Filipinos there, you can all go home. Tutal kapag umalis kayong mga Filipino they will also be having a hell of a time adjusting there,” he said in a speech before leaving for his trip to India, where he is set to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-India Commemorative Summit and India’s Republic Day celebration.

Manila on Saturday suspended the deployment of workers to Kuwait following the deaths of seven migrant workers there.

Duterte said he does not want a quarrel with Kuwait, but he issued an appeal to the Gulf state and other Arab nations, which host a large number of Filipino workers, among them skilled and domestic workers. 

“Can I just ask you now to treat my countrymen as human beings with dignity? I don’t want to fight with you. We need your help,” Duterte said.

“Wala tayong ano d'yan. Nakakatulong kayo, pero if it ends up with misery, rape, and my countrymen committing suicide… We are poor, we may need your help but we will not do it at the expense of the dignity of the Filipino.”

“Kuwait has always been an ally. But please do something [about] it,” the President said. 

Duterte enjoys strong support from overseas Filipinos, winning in the overseas absentee voting in the 2016 polls.

He said if he cannot do something about the problems of migrant Filipinos in Kuwait, “then there is no reason for me to stay in this position a minute longer.”

Kuwait is home to about 600,000 domestic helpers, mostly Asian. In January last year, Filipino migrant worker Jakatia Pawa was executed in Kuwait for allegedly killing her employer’s 22-year-old daughter

 

Source : ABS-CBN News

AMNESTY ANNOUNCEMENT KUWAIT

Residency violators can leave Kuwait now without getting permission from any authority and without paying fines, won’t be blacklisted .

Violators who want to legalize their status to stay in the country will pay a penalty of (KD2 for each day up to total of KD 600) even if they're in violation for a longer period.

Violators who don’t leave the country during the period from Jan 29 to Feb 22 will face legal penalties or won’t be give a valid visa, will be deported and won’t be allowed to enter Kuwait again.