Add News     Print  
Article List
Crackdown on Bedoun activists

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 9, (Agencies): Police in Kuwait have arrested seven leading stateless activists for “instigating” demonstrations and are hunting for eight more in a clampdown aimed at preventing protests, a rights official said on Tuesday.

Among those detained was the head of the Kuwaiti Bedouns (stateless) Committee, Ahmad Al-Tameemi and his assistant Ali Al-Enezi, the director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, Mohammad Al-Humaidi, told AFP.

Twenty-three stateless protesters including five teenagers were arrested on October 2 during a demonstration, said Humaidi.

“Today, the public attorney freed the five teenagers on $715 bail (550 euros) each pending trial. They are between 14 and 16 years old,” said Humaidi, adding that the youths were interrogated on charges of illegal assembly.

The remaining 18 adults, including a Kuwaiti activist, are still in detention facing similar charges, he said.

Police used tear-gas and smoke bombs to disperse the stateless demonstrators who were demanding citizenship and other basic rights, injuring at least three people.

Around 200 stateless men, arrested in previous demonstrations since Bedouns began staging protests in February 2011, are facing trial for illegal assembly, assaulting police and resisting arrest.
Some have been acquitted by the lower court while others still await verdicts.

Authorities in Kuwait insist that non-Kuwaitis living in the country have no right to protest, unlike the 1.2 million citizens.

Bedouns, who number more than 105,000, claim they have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship, but the government says only 34,000 qualify for consideration, arguing that the rest hold citizenship of other countries.

Kuwait has launched a campaign against Bedouns to force them to prove their original identity, depriving them of many basic rights despite criticism by international human rights groups.

Kuwait has long alleged that Bedouns, and in some cases their ancestors, destroyed their original passports to claim the right to citizenship in order to gain access to the state-provided services and benefits.

In an attempt to force the Bedouns to produce their original nationality papers, Kuwait has refused to issue essential documents to most of them, including birth, marriage and death certificates.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said that in response to a call by John Moore, a member of American congress, several Bedouns organized a rally on Al-Najashi Street since securitymen banned them from gathering in Taima Yard.

Reportedly, John Moore had encouraged the Bedouns through Twitter two days back to demonstrate and demand Kuwaiti government to grant them their rights as Kuwaiti citizens.

Read By: 2009
Comments: 0

You must login to add comments ...
About Us   |   RSS   |   Contact Us   |   Feedback   |   Advertise With Us