April 9, 2015, 9:12 am
Decisions issued earlier on the cancellation of the citizenship of some people were in line with the law, says Ministry of Interior’s Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs Major General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah. In a statement on ‘Good Morning Kuwait’ radio program, Al-Jarrah pointed out such decisions were taken only after thorough verification of falsified documents through which some people obtained citizenship illegally; hence, the need to strip them of their nationality.
He said results of DNA tests showed these people do not belong to any Kuwaiti family and nobody has been treated unjustly in this regard, asserting he is ready for a public debate with anybody who claims otherwise. He argued other countries also have stateless people (Bedouns) and Kuwait is the third among GCC countries in terms of the number of Bedouns.
He stressed that Bedouns included in the 1965 Census are eligible for citizenship. He added the ministry will start distributing e-passports before the year ends while a study is being carried out to change the format of the nationality card and the proposal will be presented soon to the interior minister.
In a related development, Al-Jarrah revealed several questions regarding the situation of Bedouns were raised in Wednesday’s National Assembly session by MPs Mohammad Al-Tanna and Faisal Al-Duwaisan, who asked Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid and State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdallah which authority oversees the activities of the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) and the names of its staff.
Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdallah apologized for the inability to respond to the queries of Al-Duwaisan, asserting the questions should be directed to the Fatwa and Legislation Department. Al-Duwaisan then retorted: “Is it logical that the CSRSIR has been working for the past four years without knowing the ministry under which it belongs?” Al-Tanna interjected saying, “I directed a question to the interior minister on the activities of many officers regarding purchase of fake passports by some Bedouns and I am still waiting for their response.” He added, “The Bedoun file is worrisome locally and internationally. Is it reasonable to see families of Bedouns holding passports issued by Eritrea and Zimbabwe and sold to them with the knowledge of the officers?”