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Situation in Kuwait.

J. Abizeid

Well-Known Member
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/kuwait-security-crackdown-bedoon-community-renews-tensions

Kuwait: Security crackdown on Bedoon community renews tensions

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Turkish air force fighter jets perform a fly over on February 25, 2014 during celebrations to mark Kuwait's 53rd National Day and the 23rd Liberation Day.(Photo: AFP-Yasser al-Zayyat)

By: Yazan al-Saadi
Published Friday, March 21, 2014

More than three years after the Bedoon (stateless Arabs) community in Kuwait launched demonstrations to highlight their decades-long plight, tensions have resurfaced in the tiny oil-rich country as security forces conducted crackdowns and arrests over the past month against activists and protesters.
On February 18, during a demonstration marking the third anniversary of a renewed round of Bedoon protests in Kuwait [2], a Bedoon activist named Abdullah Atallah spoke for a few minutes in front of a small crowd of protesters.

“They pay more for animal stables than they do for our homes. We live in misery.”In a video of the short speech posted on YouTube [3], Atallah is seen holding the pre-1961 red Kuwaiti flag, flanked by local media, standing in front of a group of young men that includes minors. In the distance, a cluster of security forces stand watching the scene. “You are all used to this life, from the moment you were born you are used to this life. If you were living between [Kuwaiti citizens], my Kuwaiti uncles live between them, and you can see the difference,” Atallah bellowed. “They pay more for animal stables than they do for our homes. We live in misery.”
Atallah then harshly criticized former and current officials of the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry, describing them as “criminals” for the policy of repression and mistreatment towards the Bedoon community.
He capped these statements by directing a message to the Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah: “We thought before that you did not know of our plight, but now there is media exposure, so I want to tell you that you are to blame for this.”
It was a bold statement that ultimately led to his arrest while he was driving later in the evening.
According to various statements by eyewitnesses of the arrest, including a Kuwaiti MP, Atallah was chased by police vehicles, who smashed into his car in order to stop him.
He was charged with insulting the Kuwaiti emir, vandalizing security vehicles, and taking part in unauthorized protests. Atallah could face up to five years in prison.
The arrest of Atallah – and another Bedoon activist, Yousef al-Zhairy, that same night – was met with criticism by Bedoon and Kuwaiti activists, progressive and Islamic political organizations, and from a few members of the Kuwaiti parliament.
Subsequently, a cycle of protests and arrests by security forces began.
The status of Kuwait’s Bedoons
“From 2011, the Bedoon movement was marked by peaceful demonstrations calling for the authorities to solve the issues once and for all,” a 39-year-old Bedoon activist, who lives in Jahra and works as an unofficial dentist, told Al-Akhbar on the condition of anonymity due to the situation's sensitivity.

“There are generations of stateless people, who are denied their basic rights such as marriage certificates, access to health and education, and other things,”“There are generations of stateless people, who are denied their basic rights such as marriage certificates, access to health and education, and other things,” he said. “The Kuwaiti citizen can demonstrate in public spaces, while the Bedoon cannot. If I may say this, the Bedoon is basically a second-class citizen in Kuwait.”
The Bedoon are Arabs without any citizenship, whether because they are children of Kuwaiti mothers married to non-Kuwaiti fathers, their ancestors did not register in an important census during independence, or by various government measures in the 1980s and 1990s that severely restricted their rights. A rare Human Rights Watch [4] report released in June 2011 outlined these restrictions, centering particularly on Kuwait's discriminatory nationality laws as the essential barrier in solving the issue.
The exact number of Kuwait's Bedoons is unknown. Government estimates hover below 100,000, while the community and activists estimate the number as high as 130,000, with another 100,000 Kuwaiti Bedoon forced to reside outside the country.
Inspired by the numerous uprisings besetting the region at the time, thousands of Bedoons organized and launched protests in February 2011 that continued sporadically over the years.
The authorities responded with arrests and crackdowns, but also promised in 2013 that the Executive Committee for Illegal Residents, established to administer the everyday affairs of the Bedoon, would aim to nationalize 4,000 Bedoons per year.
“Not one Bedoon has been granted nationality by the committee, even if they had their documents proving that they and their families have been living in Kuwait since its inception,” the Bedoon activist said.
He asked: “What are [the authorities] waiting for? Do they want people to start dying from hunger or medical problems before they do something?”
The lackluster approach by the committee, most likely due to the political instability and the government's unwillingness to reform Kuwaiti nationality laws, have only worked to greatly enhance Bedoon discontent.
“Half the Kuwaiti army was made up of Bedoon. How is it possible that a Bedoon could be issued a license to drive a tank, but was and is still not allowed the basic licenses to survive in the country,” the dentist said, “It's simply outrageous.”
The growing frustration came to ahead after the recent arrest of Atallah. Daily protests were held in the areas of Jahra and Taima'a, where most of the community resides, demanding the release of the Bedoon activist and other prisoners.
In response, the security forces crackdown harshly, arresting more activists and organizers. In addition, officials from the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry threatened families of those protesting, warning that they could lose their jobs or be deported from the country [5].
Minors facing abuse
Currently, there are three Bedoon activist held by the Kuwaiti authorities: Abdullah Atallah, Abdulhakim al-Fadhli, and his brother Abdul Nasser. Other Bedoon prisoners have been released on bail and are awaiting trial.
One of those who was arrested and later released was a 12-year-old boy named Ali Habib.
“We got a call at home by security forces demanding that Ali be handed over,” Ali Habibi's brother Ghanim told Al-Akhbar.

“Half the Kuwaiti army was made up of Bedoon. How is it possible that a Bedoon could be issued a license to drive a tank, but was and is still not allowed the basic licenses to survive in the country,”“We were surprised, honestly. The next couple of days were holidays and we knew that if Ali went to security, his case wouldn't be worked on during this time and he would be alone in prison, so we waited until the following Sunday for my father to take him to the security forces.” Habib, dressed in his school clothes, was slapped with seven charges, including blocking streets and vandalizing security vehicles. He was immediately placed in a small, white room.
Ghanim saw the room when he visited his younger brother. “If you were an older person in an empty room, you would go mad after one or two hours. There were no windows, no chairs, no bed, nothing. I had brought him dinner but they refused to allow me to give it to him. I saw him and he was weeping. He's a child and didn't understand what was going on.”
Habib was taken to court the next day, and during the trial the police officer who was called as a witness said that the minor was not involved in any destruction of security property. Despite this, Habib returned to the room for another day and was released on a 200 Kuwait dinar (KD), which is about $700, bail. He is still facing other charges.
“His future is over,” Ghanim said, “They won't let him travel freely, they will likely confiscate his IDs, and they might put him in jail again.”
Ali Habib's case as a minor is not unusual. In fact, Bedoon minors are commonly harassed, beaten and arrested by security forces, as a documentary [6] by the Kuwaiti NGO Group 29 details.
“This is a small example of the issues Bedoons have been facing for decades,” Ghanim told Al-Akhbar.
“My family has documents from the 1960s proving that we have been living here since the beginning and they we are part of the tribes that come from here. Over 120,000 individuals are slipping through the cracks. The authorities have made promises upon promises for a long time, and nothing changed.”
In Ghanim's case, beyond frustrations over what happened to his brother, he spoke of other personal problems arising as a Bedoon. According to the 29-year-old, he works with the Ministry of Health for almost 12 hours a day on a salary of 160 KD, which is about $569. In comparison, his Kuwaiti colleagues work half the time, and earn a salary of 1000 KD ($3,550) per month.
“I ask you, is this fair?” he said.
Torture and hunger strikes
Fortunately for Ali Habib, his brother noted, he had not experienced any physical torture, only insults and harsh statements by the security forces.
It was reportedly different for the other three prisoners, Atallah and the al-Fadhli bothers.
According to statements by family members, activists, and lawyers in touch with the detainees, the three Bedoon prisoners have been beaten by security forces, hung from their feet, and occasionally left in dark cells. One of the prisoners – Abdulhakim – was threatened with rape during an interrogation.
On March 17, the court extended the three prisoners’ detention for 10 more days.
“This is the third time this has happened, without any clear reasons,” Bashayer al-Fadhli, the sister of the two brothers, told Al-Akhbar. “Nothing is clear about this case, and God only knows what is happening.”
According to Kuwaiti law, a prisoner is allowed one visitation from relatives and friends per week, however the family members of the detainees have consistently been denied access to them.
“My father and older brother were not even allowed to go see them in court,” Bashayer noted.
“This is a continual issue in our family and youths in the community, the consistent detainment, the unclear charges, the abuse and harassment. The authorities are conducting acts that are legal, and sometimes illegal, to send a message to other activists,” she said, pointing to the fact that Kuwaiti law is unclear on the punishment of Bedoons since they are neither citizens nor foreigners.
“The near future doesn't look promising. The government has no plan, and is only concerned about the public relations aspect of this issue, how this could affect the prestige of the country. The authorities like to present themselves as supporters of international law and human rights, but they are not even implementing it in the country,” she added.
Due to their circumstances, the three detainees announced on March 17 in a letter smuggled out of prison that they will conduct a hunger strike until they are released [7].
“The cause has nothing left to lose, we have already experienced this at a great cost. But it is worth it, if you are silent you will not get anything in return. A human being cannot accept this treatment,” Bashayer said.
“We are Kuwaitis”
International organizations and other countries are not helping us. There is a blindness and silence. I hold them responsible.“This is one of the biggest challenges facing Kuwait. The Bedoon cause has been ignored for more than 50 years, and their rights have been stripped over time. The problem has become more serious than ever,” 27-year-old Kuwaiti activist Nawaf al-Hindal said to Al-Akhbar. “Not much has changed for the Bedoon since 2011, and opinions within the Kuwaiti public are varied,” he said, “and many are really blind to the issue.”
Of great concern to Hindal and his peers in Kuwaiti civil society is the fact that the charges are justified under national security and defamation against the emir.
“All the charges against the Bedoon detainees, in particular the three who remain, are strange. One was arrested for the alleged acts of his brother, another is charged with defaming the emir without any explanation to what was the defamation, and they were charged with attacking and vandalizing security vehicles when in fact they were victims of the attack,” Hindal said.
“The charges have no link to reality,” he said, further adding that since 2012 Kuwait has exceedingly relied on Emiri defamation charges against any person who criticizes a policy.
“More than 250 cases are based on this charge. Kuwait is now the leading user of the emiri defamation charge in the world.”
At the moment, the Bedoon cause has rallied around the release of the three remaining prisoners, and protests will likely continue to break out as long as the government does not grant the Bedoon citizenship and their basic rights.
But for that to happen, immense and international pressure has to be applied on the Kuwaiti authorities to act in a constructive manner. That is not happening.
“We do not know what steps we can take,” the Bedoon activist-dentist from Jahra remarked to Al-Akhbar.
“International organizations and other countries are not helping us. There is a blindness and silence. I hold them responsible.”
After Atallah concluded his fateful speech a month ago, protesters cried out, “In a loud voice, in a loud voice, we are Kuwaitis until death, we are Kuwaitis until death.”
Clearly, the Bedoon’s struggle in Kuwait is far from over.
 

Abotareq93

Legendary Member
Arethe Bedouin Shia ????

Hanna, Bedoun are people who don't have any citizenship: بدون جنسيه. Of course, they had passports but they threw them and claimed they came from nowhere hoping to get the Kuwaiti citizenship along with all its benefits. Most of these people come from Syria, Iraq, Iran and very few of them from Pakistan
 

HannaTheCrusader

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
Hanna, Bedoun are people who don't have any citizenship: بدون جنسيه. Of course, they had passports but they threw them and claimed they came from nowhere hoping to get the Kuwaiti citizenship along with all its benefits. Most of these people come from Syria, Iraq, Iran and very few of them from Pakistan

I know tthat but I read that majority are Shias, hence why the stalling :) or Iraqi Sunnis by original , also a no no for Kuwaitis hehe
 

Rafidi

Legendary Member
السبت 9 أغسطس 2014 - 20:21 بتوقيت غرينتش

اقتحام“حسينيّة عاشور” بالسيارة..ونواب كويتيون يحذرون
.. أفادت مواقع إعلامية كويتية أن “مواطنا كويتي الجنسية” قالت باقتحام حسينية “عاشور” في منطقة بنيد القار في الكويت باستخدام سيارته. وأفادت المعلومات بأن الحادثة لم تؤد إلى وقوع ضحايا بشرية، مع بعض

alalam_635432286752725384_25f_4x3.jpg


الخسائر المادية في الحسينية. النائب الكويتي صالح عاشور قالت في تصريح صحافي بأن على “وزارة الداخلية أن تأخذ القضية على محمل الجد، وتتحقق من ارتباطات وانتماء المتهم، كما أن عليها أن تُسارع في اتخاذ الإجراءات اللازمة في مثل هذه الحالات”، مضيفاً أن سيُتابع مع الوزارة الحادثة “أولا بأول”.
النائب السابق يوسف الزلزلة قال بأن “ما حصل في حسينية عاشور بمنطقة بنيد القار دليل واضح على أن هناك فكراً إرهابياً وطائفيا بغيضا يمول كل منْ يريد شرا بالكويت وأهله”، مطالباً بمتابعة ما أسماه بخيوط “الجريمة لمعرفة ممولي هذا الفكر الإرهابي”.



اقتحام“حسينيّة عاشور” بالسيارة..ونواب كويتيون يحذرون
 
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