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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 2: The following is the first part of a report submitted to the Human Rights Committee on adopting the list of issues for State of Kuwait at the 136th session for the period from 10th of October – 4th of November 2022. — Editor
THE Kuwait Society for Human Rights (KSHR) seeks to disseminate a culture of respect for human rights, enhance awareness of international human rights conventions, and defend all individuals whose rights are violated. As part of the Society’s endeavors to protect and promote these rights, the Society presents in this report its most significant observations and recommendations regarding the adoption of the list of issues for the State of Kuwait after providing the fourth periodic report of the Human Rights Committee on the extent of its commitment to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Hence, this report has been prepared as per the following parameters:
❑ Concluding remarks provided by the Human Rights Committee on the 3rd periodic report of the State of Kuwait.
❑ The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
❑ The 4th periodic report submitted by the State of Kuwait to the Human Rights Committee in 2020.
❑ Harmonization of local laws to the International Covenant pertaining to Civil and Political Rights.
❑ Recommendations of the workshops implemented by KSHR.
❑ Complaints received by KSHR.
❑ Violations monitored by KSHR monitoring teams.
1.Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights within the framework of national legislation:
❑ Through practical practice on the ground, KSHR finds that the Kuwaiti judiciary relies in most of its judgments on the local laws, excluding international covenants and agreements ratified by the State of Kuwait. Through our research, we were unable to reach a judicial ruling passed by the Kuwaiti judiciary that based on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and this indicates the few or even scarcity of judicial rulings with respect to implementing the provisions of international conventions ratified by Kuwait in general and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in particular.
❑ Limited number of training programs and courses that aimed at qualifying and raising the awareness of judges and the Public Prosecution members about international human rights law and the implementation and implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by the State of Kuwait, given that Article (70) of the Constitution stipulates that after ratification, sanction and publication in the Official Gazette, the treaty shall have force of law.
1. We urge the Committee to request the Kuwaiti government to explain the procedures recently taken to activate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the courts and within the administrative actions, and what is the mechanism followed to invoke the Covenant directly before the local courts, and the results which such mechanism has achieved accordingly.
2. We encourage the Committee to ask the government to provide the steps that it has taken to intensify the training programs and courses aimed at raising the awareness of judges, the members Public Prosecution and judicial officials with regard to the international human rights law, and the commitment to enforce and apply the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which ratified by the State of Kuwait.
❑ The Kuwaiti government calls the Bedoon “illegal residents”, considering that they are not stateless, but are in violation of the residency law, and asks them to ratify their legal status, hence the Kuwaiti government does not grant the Bedoon any clear or specific opportunity to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship, as it considers that the issue of obtaining Kuwaiti citizenship is a sovereign matter determined by the state at its sole discretion according to its higher interests and is subject to controls and conditions regulated by the Kuwaiti Nationality Law No. (15/1959) and its amendments.
❑ Referring to Law No. (15/1959) and its amendments, one of the conditions for granting Kuwaiti citizenship is that Article No. (4) Paragraph (1), as amended by Law No. 100/1980, stipulated that every person has lawfully resided in Kuwait for at least twenty consecutive years or for at least fifteen consecutive years if he is an Arab belonging to an Arab country, while the Kuwaiti government considers that the Bedoon are (illegal residents).
❑ In 2010, the Kuwaiti government established the “Central System for The Remedy of Situations of Illegal Residents” to address the Bedoon’s status, and it has become a tool of pressure through its arbitrary measures and the pressure exerted on the overwhelming majority not to renew their security identification, unless they sign a statement that they hold the citizenship of other countries.
❑ On August 29, 2021, the Official Gazette had published two decrees; the first decree No. 159 of 2021 regarding the extension of work period of the Central system for the remedy of situations of Illegal Residents for two years, as of November 9, 2021, and the second decree No. 160 of 2021, which includes the reappointment of Chief Executive Officer of the Central System for The Remedy of Situations of Illegal Residents with the rank of Minister.
1. We encourage the Committee to ask the Kuwaiti government to clarify the mechanism used by the Central System as per the road map set by the Supreme Council for Planning and Development and adopted by the Council of Ministers under Emiri Decree No. (1612/2010) in dealing with the Bedoon who are entitled to obtain the Kuwaiti citizenship and who have a census of 1965, and to provide a census of the number of those who obtained citizenship and the number of those who meet the requirements in accordance with the Kuwaiti Nationality Law No. (15/1959) and its amendments, and what is the government’s vision for those who are not entitled to hold the Kuwaiti citizenship.
2. We urge the Committee to request the government to clarify that the Central System does not renew the security identifications that the Bedoon hold, except after they sign a statement that they hold the citizenship of other countries, and they sign written acknowledgments to waive any claim to Kuwaiti citizenship, and to clarify the consequences of refusing to sign a permit of subordination to another country and waiving the right to demand the Kuwaiti citizenship.
… To be continued tomorrow