Bidoon in Kuwait .. A human tragedy continues without solution Politics and Economy -

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"I have a dream, that my child and your child live a fair life in which my child does not feel unequal with your child one day." This is a message Alaa al-Saadoun sent out through social networking sites, including hundreds and perhaps thousands of Kuwaitis, over the past few days. Citizenship ".

Alaa Saadoun is one of those arrested by the Kuwaiti authorities following a demonstration organized by the Bidoon to demand citizenship in response to the suicide of a young man who was unable to obtain official documents from the state, causing his loss of work.

In an interview "I was apprehended from Freedom Square and I and another activist were besieged. They asked me to wait for the female officers to come to inspect me, and when I asked to see the prosecutor's permission for my arrest and seizure they did not give me anything and forced me to go with them. The State Security headquarters until an investigator told me that I would be released for a member of the National Assembly to mediate for my exit. "

Alaa is deeply concerned about the future of her children, who are considered "unknown". They have not yet reached the age at which they can enroll in a good school, but she fears that she will not be able to do so. , Including attending a public school.

"All the Bedoons are deprived of natural human rights. Despite my bachelor's degree in English literature at Kuwait University, I have not been able to get a job yet because I am without," she said.".

According to Amnesty International, more than a dozen protesters, including human rights defender Abdel Hakim al-Fadhli, were charged with participating in unauthorized protests, misuse of communications equipment, broadcasting false news, and committing national security offenses.

Who are the Bedoons?

The term Bidun dates back to the "Badia people" who have not acquired the nationality of the State of Kuwait since its independence in 1961. They are described according to Kuwaiti law as "undefined", Their problem is back To the non-application of the articles of the Kuwaiti Nationality Law after independence and the neglect of some to apply for Kuwaiti nationality in the past.

It should be noted that at the beginning of the recent crisis, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, through its official account on Twitter, referred to one of the arrested as being "illegally resident".

According to a report issued last year by Human Rights Watch, the number of Bidoons in Kuwait is around 100,000, and because of the "illegality" of establishing Bidoons in Kuwait, they suffer deprivation of rights enjoyed by Kuwaiti citizens.

The Central Agency for the Treatment of Illegal Residents issues security cards for Bedoons, to be renewed periodically by the Agency, This card is not considered a personal identity of the holder, according to the description of the device itself.

The Kuwaiti Society for Human Rights, by official statement, describes the status of the Bidun as "worse than ever before because of the central apparatus through its arbitrary measures and the pressure exerted on the vast majority of Bedoons."

Some believe that one of the factors that led to the difficulty of the bidun position in Kuwait is to accuse them of "disloyalty" because of the support of some of them to Iraq during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, while others preferred to stay to defend or leave Kuwait and go to Saudi Arabia.

Lynn Maalouf, Middle East research director at Amnesty International, said the recent arrests "exacerbate an already tense situation." "The authorities continued to deny Bedoons citizenship, which has long deprived those residents of a series of fundamental rights, , Including their right to health, education and work, effectively excluding them from being an integral part and contributing to a vibrant Kuwaiti society. "

The time has come to address "sustainable"

Alaa al-Saadoun wishes to solve the problem of bedoons in Kuwait. "The right to citizenship here in Kuwait is the gate to obtaining the natural rights of any human being. I wish to speedily close the file for my children.".

Kuwait's former emir, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, issued a decree in 1999 granting citizenship to 2,000 bedoons a year, but according to media reports, "Bidun does not benefit from this law due to restrictions restricting its application."

"It is time for authorities to purposefully and sustainably address this issue by ensuring that all Bidoon people have access to independent, prompt and fair legal procedures when applying for citizenship," said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Middle East research director.

The deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Thamer al-Suwait, also called for resolving the Bidun issue by "recognizing their civil and social rights, while stressing the need not to break the law."

The "Council" account, via Twitter, reported on talks between the Emir of Kuwait, the Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, the Minister of the Interior and the head of the Central Agency "to deal with the situation of illegal residents". All the news is waiting for what will happen in the coming period. That the current dialogue with the Kuwaiti society to end the suffering of the Bidoon.

Dina El Basnaly

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