Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Hey, remember when the US invaded Iraq to "liberate" Kuwait back under George I.  

Somebody forgot apparently to tell the Kuwaitis to liberate the Bedouin who live in their country.  

The Bedouin decided to remind the Kuwaiti government that they, too, were citizens.

The government responded with tear gas, bullets, beatings and arrests.

Last month Arab News reported:
Known as Bedouin, more than 1,000 of them clashed with security forces in the province of Al-Jahra, 30 miles west of the capital Kuwait City, on Friday. Human Rights Watch reported that 120 demonstrators were arrested and approximately 30 others requiring medical treatment. 
 Mostly descendants of Bedouin nomads who failed to apply for citizenship when Kuwait passed its citizenship law in 1959, the Bedouin cannot legally work in Kuwait and are denied health care, public education and access to courts. They are also denied a piece of the huge largesse that comes from the country’s oil resources.
The government requires them to relinquish citizenship claims in order to receive birth, marriage or death certificates, Human Rights Watch reported. Al-Shamari said that up until 1986 Bedouin enjoyed the same rights as regular Kuwaitis, except for the right to vote. During the 1980s, they comprised some 90% of Kuwait’s army and Interior Ministry personnel, he said. 
After the demonstrations last month it  seems that many of those arrested faced further retribution the State.  While locked up many were beaten a bit more and some were also sexually abused.

The Empire turned its head away while its media failed to comment.

Don't forget the Kuwait still has lots of that black gooey liquidly thing that feed the machine.

Meanwhile, I think summing all this up rather well (and in a more personal way) is this from Al-Shorfa,

"Who am I?" and "Where is my country?" are basic questions Souad, 18, asks each day.
"My skin is tan and my eyes are black. I was born in Kuwait and live there. But when someone asks me, 'What is your nationality?' the question is left hanging without an answer because I am without nationality," she says.

The following is from AlertNet. 

Kuwaiti bedoun protesters sexually abused in jail –rights group

27 Mar 2012 16:58
Source: Alertnet // Emma Batha

A man holds up a Kuwaiti flag with the message: "I love (heart) Kuwait" on the third day of demonstrations by stateless Arabs in Tiama, Jahra February 20, 2011. The protesters were demanding citizenship. REUTERS/Stephanie McGehee
By Emma Batha
LONDON (AlertNet) - Stateless Arabs arrested after protesting in Kuwait for the right to be recognised as citizens were beaten and sexually abused, a rights group has said.
Refugees International advocate Sarnata Reynolds, who visited Kuwait last month, said some protesters were also held in solitary confinement after the crackdown during which police used rubber bullets, water cannon and sound bombs to break up demonstrations.
Reynolds called on Kuwait to stop police brutality against protesters and criticised the international community for turning a blind eye to the violence.
She said the plight of its large stateless population – known as bedouns – was “an abhorrent and ugly stain” on the country, and called for the government to take immediate steps to tackle the issue. 
There are an estimated 100,000 bedouns in Kuwait. Many are descendents of Bedouin tribes who have lived in the region for generations but failed to apply for citizenship when Kuwait became independent in 1961.
They cannot get birth certificates or passports and do not have the same right to free education and healthcare enjoyed by Kuwaiti citizens. Barred from most jobs, they largely live in makeshift housing outside the capital, Kuwait City.
Their average salary is $300 a month, ten times less than what the average Kuwaiti earns, said Reynolds, Refugee International’s expert on statelessness.
Thousands of bedouns have held periodic demonstrations over the past year to demand the government recognise them as nationals, but the police cracked down hard on protests in December and January.
Those arrested included a man whose 6-year-old son had died of cancer because the government would not let him travel to Saudi Arabia to get treatment, Refugees International said this month in a report: Kuwait: Bidoun Nationality Demands Can’t Be Silenced
Reynolds said she was particularly shocked by allegations from several protesters she met who told her they had been sexually abused after their arrest. They believed many others had been subjected to similar ordeals.
The crackdown was made worse by the total lack of international condemnation which had encouraged a climate of impunity, she added.
But Reynolds said there had been a number of positive recent developments. Kuwait has said its Human Rights Commission is to investigate allegations of human rights abuses and it has released all 72 people arrested – although they still face charges.
There is also growing momentum in Kuwait’s newly elected parliament to address the bedoun issue which MPs have traditionally viewed as toxic, she said.
Reynolds said Kuwait could easily absorb all the bedouns without detriment to the generous state benefits enjoyed by its citizens.
“It’s 100,000 people who have lived there for generations in a country which has a $47-billion surplus,” she added.
Kuwait has acknowledged that 34,000 bedouns do qualify for nationality, but has not yet given them papers. However, it says many other bedouns are Arabs from elsewhere who deliberately disposed of their identity documents after coming to Kuwait to seek citizenship in the oil-rich country. 
Reynolds called on the government to immediately nationalise the 34,000 bedouns it has recognised and to start adjudicating on tens of thousands of other pending applications.
She said the United States and Britain, which have strong diplomatic ties to Kuwait, along with U.N. agencies must press the government more forcefully on the case of the bedouns. 
Britain sent a delegation to Kuwait this month to talk about the bedouns, as did the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), which has a mandate to protect stateless populations. The United States is also sending a team.
Volker Turk, head of international protection at UNHCR, who visited Kuwait last week, said he was very encouraged by a meeting he had with the speaker of parliament.
“There’s a more positive spirit than I’ve ever seen before and there is a consensus that this has to be resolved,” he added.
Turk said Kuwait was now firmly in the spotlight following an international drive launched last year to resolve the plight of the world’s 12 million stateless people.
“I find it anachronistic in the 21st century to see stateless populations in the world and we hope this new momentum to tackle statelessness will inspire Kuwait,” he added.

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