Sunday, January 15, 2012

13 January 2012 Bedoon Civil Rights

This makes me so sad.  It reminds me of footage I saw during 90/91 when the Iraqis invaded Kuwait.  I didn’t take these photos/videos:  They are publicly available online, but since they are in Arabic, Westerners might not understand what is happening.  The videos were taken on Friday outside a mosque in Taima where Bedouns worship.

Police break up new demo - ‘Force unjustified’
Arab Times

 KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14, (AFP): Kuwaiti riot police on Saturday used tear gas and batons to disperse hundreds of stateless demonstrators for the second day in a row and arrested dozens, witnesses and a rights group said.

A day after riot police beat stateless protesters demanding citizenship in Jahra, northwest of Kuwait City, demonstrations expanded on Saturday to include Sulaibiya, west of the capital.

The independent Kuwait Association of Human Rights (KAHR) said three of its members monitoring the protests were arrested but one was later released.

Riot police chased demonstrators and arrested dozens in the two towns where most of the 105,000 stateless, locally known as Bedouns, live, witnesses said.

Head of the Kuwaiti Bedouns Committee, Ahmed al-Tamimi, told a news conference that riot police sealed off the two towns and used police dogs to chase protesters.

He said protests were still continuing into the night, claiming that police has randomly rounded up more than 100 people. He appealed to the prime minister to intervene.

Committee coordinator Nawaf al-Bader said police imposed a virtual curfew on the two towns. He said that so far, dozens of protesters were wounded and that many of them did not go to hospital for fear of being arrested.

Bader said that around 68 stateless were arrested during Friday’s protest.

A number of Kuwaiti rights activists told the news conference police used excessive and unjustified force against peaceful demonstrators.

The demonstrators gathered on Saturday to protest against the excessive and unnecessary use of force by police against the demonstrators on Friday, Bedoun activists said on social networking website Twitter.

The interior ministry had said that 21 security men were wounded in the clashes, five of whom were hospitalised.

Some local media said their journalists were beaten by police on Saturday.

The leftist Progressive Movement condemned in a statement what it called the “unjustified use of force” against Bedoun protesters, and called for a peaceful solution to their decades-old problem.
The interior ministry issued three statements earlier this week warning Bedouns not to protest or face punishment.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch on Friday urged Kuwait to scrap the decision banning stateless people from demonstrating.

“This is a shameful effort to curb the rights to peaceful expression and assembly of Kuwait’s Bedouns,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch’s Middle East director, said in a statement.

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, according to a June HRW report.

Fifty-two Bedouns are on trial for protesting and another 32 are under investigation.
The government says only 34,000 of Bedouns qualify for citizenship.

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1 comment:

antonio tiso said...


my name is Antonio Tiso and I am an Italian photojournalist.

Can you help me to make known the crowd funding for the humanitarian photo project that I am carrying out? The aim is to inform the International Community about the plight of life of the Bedoon people in Kuwait.

If you could share this link with your friends and contacts, I would be grateful. Antonio.

Deadline: 30 June 2012.

Thanks in advance!