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Proposal approves Kuwaiti citizenship for non-Muslims – Bid to achieve equality

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 20: In a bid to eliminate discrimination and achieve equality within the framework of international human rights standards, the parliamentary committee for legal and legislation affairs has approved a proposal to amend Nationality Law No.15/1959 in a manner that allows non-Muslims to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship.

A committee member revealed the amendment is related to item No. 4 of Article 5 of Kuwait’s nationality law, which states the Kuwaiti citizenship may be granted by decree – upon the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior – to any person of full age who satisfies the required conditions … and that he must be an original Muslim by birth or converted to Islam according to prescribed rules and procedures, and at least 5 years must have elapsed since he embraced Islam before naturalization.

“Nationality, thus acquired, is by itself lost and the decree of naturalization rendered void at the beginning if the naturalized person expressly renounces Islam or behaves in a manner that clearly indicates his intention to abandon Islam. In such case, the citizenship of any dependent of the apostate is also rendered void,” the source explained.

MP Safa Al-Hashim

He stated the amendment is based on two proposals; the first one submitted by MP Safaa Al-Hashim and the second bearing the signatures of MPs Ahmad Al-Fadhil and Khaled Al- Shatti, noting the house committee foresees the amendment would achieve equality and justice in line with the constitutional texts, and also enhance the image of Kuwait internationally.

Meanwhile, the same house-committee refused to lift immunity of MP Ahmad Al-Fadhil and MP Khaled Al-Shatti in a vote which took place without them being present, and decided to lift immunity of MP Muhammad Al-Hayef.

Rapporteur of the committee mentioned that they addressed Hayef to attend the meeting to explain his point of view as regards the case filed against him but the MP failed to attend. The lifting of immunity on MP Hayef came on a request linked to an old case filed against him by MP Saleh Ashour, which is still under process by the Court of Cassation.


By Abdul-Rahman Al-Shimmari

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