Kuwaiti government's brutal crackdown on ‘stateless’ people

Kuwaiti security forces use dogs, tear gas, armoured vehicles, and water cannons, against protesting 'stateless' people, who are demanding citizenship and basic human rights.

Submitted by working class … on January 16, 2012

Throughout the weekend, riot police across cities in Kuwait have been using batons and tear gas in an attempt to disperse ‘stateless’ protestors.

The protestors are ‘Bidoons’. Bidoons is the name given to ‘stateless’ people, or illegal immigrants, who have absolutely no rights in Kuwait whatsoever. They are demanding basic human rights and citizenship.

“Kuwait has long alleged that Bidoons, 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” Many are said to be descendants of desert nomads.

Bidoons are generally confined within their own towns. As the demonstrations started, the security forces surrounded the towns, and chased protestors with dogs water cannons and armoured vehicles. Curfews are now in place across ‘Bidoon’ towns, following a government warning not to protest.

Hundreds of people have been injured, but have not gone to hospital due to the fear of being arrested. Hundreds of protestors have been arrested, and are due to go on trial.

Several human rights organisations have expressed their concern regarding the Kuwaiti governments approach. However the government believes that it is justified in its repressive tactics.