All mobile lines to central prison to be cut

The Central Prison and its immediate vicinity will be designated a black-out area for mobile phone coverage by the end of the year, said an informed source at the ministry of interior.

Senior-level representatives from the Correctional Institution and the Sentences Enforcement Department have held a meeting with the telecommunication authorities and telecommunication companies to chalk out a plan to build four communication towers around the perimeter of the Central Prison to act as the sole source for directing all communication signals arising from and arriving at the prison.

The towers will also be able to identify and monitor all incoming and outgoing calls, and if it is discovered that a mobile number was operating from within the prison, the call will be terminated and number will be cancelled automatically.

In addition, the authorities are understood to be planning a new project capable of blocking communication outlets inside the Central Prison, which is now with the Finance Committee of the Ministry of Interior. The project, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the Middle-East, is projected to cost around KD5 million.

This service – which is currently in use in the US prisons – will not violate the Constitution and the law, and will be certified by the Ministry of Health to ascertain that the blocking device does not pose a health threat to the prisoners and prison staff.

Officers and noncommissioned staff will still be able to communicate as fixed-line telephones will continue to be available, and there will be a separate network through which authorities will be able to communicate on their mobile phones.