A protester is detained by Kuwaiti riot policemen during a demonstration by stateless Arabs in Jahra
Kuwaiti riot police have used tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse hundreds of stateless demonstrators who were demanding citizenship and other rights, witnesses and activists said. © Yasser al-Zayyat - AFP
A protester is detained by Kuwaiti riot policemen during a demonstration by stateless Arabs in Jahra
Jameel W. Karaki
Last updated: October 4, 2012

No real intention to solve Bedouns issue in Kuwait, says Al-Bader

Nawaf Al-Bader, the official spokesman of Kuwaiti Bedouns (Stateless Arabs), said in a statement to Your Middle East that "the complete militarization of a residential area such as Timaa, blocking its roads, and the existence of hundreds of security men as well as dozens of vehicles and armor of MOI (Ministry of Interior), made the area like a war square", noting that this happened because Kuwaiti Bedouns went out claiming their humanitarian rights on Tuesday.

Al-Bader added, "this is a great example that the government lacks the commitment to conventions and international treaties in this regard. However, systematic violence was used where rubber bullets were used and hit the eye of one Bedoun in his eye and lost the eyesight."

Moreover, Al-Bader asserted that tens of Bedouns were injured and 27 arrested including four children who were released later on.

"All these abuses and variables confirms to us as observers and human rightists that this is an approach followed by the government since it doesn’t want to solve this issue", he added. 

Meanwhile, in a press statement, the Interior Ministry on Wednesday denounced the Bedouns’ unauthorized protest and riot in Timaa (Square) in Jahra late Tuesday. The Ministry of Interior added that "photos and video footages of the protest, taken by photographers at the scene, showed deliberate blatant violations of law, order and norms by the protesters."

It also denounced the protestors’ behavior, asserting that the Ministry and all security bodies are keen on countering such unauthorized gatherings that lead to riots and attacks on police. It expressed hopes that all people would abide by law and cooperation with state bodies to retain security and stability as well as the higher interests of the State.

MOI noted that the security forces have practiced self-restraint but it was forced to intervene to stop attacks on public and private properties and to reopen blocked roads.

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 a bid 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.

The government says only 34,000 out of a total 105,000 Bedouns qualify for citizenship.

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