Syrian man deported from Kuwait for 'joke' video
The Kuwaiti authorities accused the man of “tampering with and mocking the local currency”, according to local newspaper Al-Qabas.
In the video, the man can be seen sitting in front of a large pile of money and complaining that he was “tired of counting it”, before flamboyantly distributing it to his friends.
Following the man’s arrest by Kuwait’s cybercrime department, he confirmed to police that the money was not his, and that he was, in fact, not financially well off. The money belonged to the owner of the building that he works in, and was rent that had been collected.
In a follow up video, the deported man insisted that the video was intended as a “joke” and was just made for fun, but that there were those who viewed the video with “hatred”.
Kuwait’s public prosecution office decided not to formally charge the man, but the ministry of interior did decide to deport him back to Damascus.
Kuwait’s Administrative Deportation Law allows the ministry of interior to deport any expatriate, without a court ruling, if it judges the decision to be in the interest of protecting the country and its security.
It has been reported that expats in Kuwait are now scared to make or appear in videos on social media platforms such as Snapchat or TikTok, for fear that they might inadvertently cause offence and put their status in the country at risk and be deported.
The case of the deported Syrian man followed that of Pakistani actor Al Ali, who was charged and deported for a video posted on social media which the authorities said outraged public morality.
During the first half of 2021, Kuwait has deported 7,808 expatriates for a variety of reasons, including violating the residence law, committing crimes, traffic violations and other issues.