The racism and apartheid in the Arab Muslim country of Kuwait - against the Bedoons
The Bedoons of Kuwait: "citizens without citizenship" - Page 3 - Aziz Abu-Hamad, Human Rights Watch/Middle East, Human Rights Watch (Organization) - Human Rights Watch, 1995 - Political Science - 105 pages
... The totality of the treatment of the Bedoons amounts to a policy of denationalization of native residents, relegating them to an apartheid-like existence in their own country. The Kuwaiti government policy of harassment and intimidation... Bedoons clearly have a right to residence in Kuwait by reason of the simple test of their ties to Kuwait and no other they have nowhere else to turn. Having ...
UNHCR | Refworld | The Bedoons of Kuwait: "Citizens without Citizenship"
Human Rights Watch
Aug 1, 1995 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Kuwait practices a system of institutionalized discrimination against its residents known as Bedoons, long-time inhabitants who have been denied Kuwaiti citizenship and are now being rendered stateless. Barred from employment, denied education for their children, restricted in their movements, and living under the constant threat of arbitrary arrest and deportation; Bedoons are a community of "have nots" in one of the wealthiest countries of the world. At the same time, tens of thousands of Bedoons who fled Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation have been barred from returning to their country.
After decades of treating Bedoons as citizens and repeatedly promising to confer formal citizenship on them, the Kuwaiti government reversed its practice and declared them illegal residents of the only country they have ever known. Although the policy was adopted before the Iraqi invasion, it has intensified since the Kuwaiti government was restored to power following the victory of the Desert Storm military campaign. Kuwaiti authorities have justified their policy on the theory that Bedoons are illegal aliens and therefore are not entitled to live in Kuwait or enjoy the basic rights to which citizens and lawful residents are entitled.
The Human Rights Watch investigation summarized in this report lasted several years and included interviews with over 500 Bedoons in Kuwait and the diaspora. It also included interviews with Kuwaiti government officials, members of parliament, judges, lawyers and others with knowledge on this subject. We also examined Kuwaiti laws, court cases and relevant official documents. We found the following:
-Bedoons today number about 300,000, one third of Kuwait's native population, an estimate based on Kuwaiti official documents. Nearly half of them still reside in Kuwait while the rest are languishing in exile, mainly in Iraq, because Kuwait blocked their return after the war.
-Most Bedoons were born in Kuwait, have lived there all their livesmany Bedoon families have lived in Kuwait for generationsor have close family ties in the country. For decades, they were treated as lawful residents and effectively citizens in every aspect of their lives. They were repeatedly promised formal Kuwaiti citizenship. About 30,000 of them are spouses of Kuwaiti women or children of Kuwaiti mothers. Many others have siblings or other close relatives who are Kuwaiti citizens.
-The policies adopted by Kuwait since 1985 have resulted in widespread dislocation and extreme hardship. Bedoons were dismissed en masse from their government positions, with the exception of few thousand Bedoons who have been reinstated in the military and police. Bedoons are no longer eligible to work in the private sector or receive most basic government services.
-Classified as illegal residents, they are no longer issued civil identification cards, driver's licenses or travel documents, putting most Bedoons under virtual house arrest. They are not permitted to travel abroad, including for medical emergencies or religious pilgrimage, unless they accept never to return to Kuwait.
-Because their presence in Kuwait has been declared illegal, Bedoons are vulnerable to harassment and exploitation. As they are fearful of the authorities, they refrain from filing complaints and limit their movement to their neighborhoods, where they can avoid checkpoints and harassment.
-Having been denied employment and other sources of income, most Bedoons live in squalid slums threatened with eviction from their homes. Many have exhausted their limited savings and are living on charitable donations, which provide them with little more than subsistence levels of existencein a land enjoying one of the highest standards of living in the world.
-Kuwaiti law explicitly excludes citizenship and residency decisions from judicial purview, thus preventing Bedoons from challenging governmental decisions denying them citizenship or lawful residence in the country. Because of this exclusion, Kuwaiti courts have only challenged the government's position on the Bedoons in the course of criminal proceedings where citizenship or residency status was relevant. In the few cases where Kuwaiti courts were able to examine the government's treatment of the Bedoons, they ruled that the Bedoons enjoy a special status that immunizes them, for example, from expulsion from the country. The government has ignored these rulings and since the end of the war issued over 24,000 expulsion orders for Bedoons.
-Most Bedoons interviewed possess documents indicating that they would have qualified for Kuwaiti citizenship had the process been applied fairly and transparently. The authority to decide citizenship is reserved for the Ministry of Interior and the Emir of Kuwait. Because this discretionary process has not been open to challenge, many Bedoons were denied citizenship simply due to the fact that the government failed to act on their applications or provide them with an adequate opportunity to prove their claims.
-By successively amending citizenship laws, the government limited the Bedoons' eligibility for citizenship. Many Bedoons were denied citizenship because the government failed to act on their applications in a timely manner, i.e., before the law was changed. The amendments were
implemented retroactively to applications submitted (but not acted upon) before the amendments were adopted.
The totality of the treatment of the Bedoons amounts to a policy of denationalization of native residents, relegating them to an apartheid-like existence in their own country. The Kuwaiti government policy of harassment and intimidation of the Bedoons and of denying them the right to lawful residence, employment, travel and movement, contravene basic principles of human rights. Bedoons clearly have a right to residence in Kuwait by reason of the simple test of their ties to Kuwait and no otherthey have nowhere else to turn. Having lived in Kuwait for generations, treated as citizens for decades and repeatedly promised Kuwaiti citizenship, they acquired vested rights which may not be so arbitrarily taken away. It is an arbitrary policy that treats children born in Kuwait, including children of Kuwaiti mothers, as illegal residents who should leave the country, simply because their fathers were classified as stateless. This treatment is especially egregious considering that it was often government inaction which resulted in rendering the fathers stateless in the first place.
Denial of citizenship to the Bedoons clearly violates international law which puts wide-ranging and important restrictions on the state's discretion to regulate citizenship:
-Denial of citizenship and lawful residence to Bedoon husbands and children of women who are Kuwaiti citizens violates rules against gender-based discrimination since Kuwaiti men married to Bedoon wives may pass on their citizenship to their spouses and offspring. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which Kuwait has signed, prohibits such discrimination in nationality laws.
-Denial of citizenship to the children of Bedoons, including children of Bedoon fathers and Kuwaiti mothers, violates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Kuwait has also signed.
-Denying Bedoons the right to petition the courts to challenge governmental decisions regarding their claims to citizenship and lawful residence in the country violates the universal right to due process of law and equality before the law.
-By retroactively implementing restrictive citizenship and residency laws, Kuwaiti authorities deprive Bedoons of their vested rights to Kuwaiti citizenship and permanent residence, which they acquired under more liberal laws.
While international law grants a state the authority to determine conditions governing the acquisition of its citizenship, this discretion may not be arbitrary. The policy must comport with acceptable principles of human rights, including the prohibition against rendering children stateless through invidious discrimination or because of their parents' stateless status.
The Universal Declaration for Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, CEDAW, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations conventions on the treatment of stateless persons prohibit rendering children stateless. Since citizenship is the conduit through which persons enjoy basic rights, denying them citizenship in this manner is an arbitrary action that excludes them from the protection of the state and deprives them of the ability to enjoy their human rights.
As for eligibility of adult Bedoons who were not born in Kuwait to citizenship, the right to a nationality is enshrined in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. While the declaration recognizes this right for individuals, the obligation to provide citizenship is imposed on states collectively. Subsequent international agreements were devised to apportion this obligation. Citizenship as a right is akin to the right to seek and enjoy asylum, in that the right is for the individual while the state obligation is collective. The state with the closest ties to the individual has the clearest obligation. There is no doubt that Kuwait is the country with primary responsibility for most of the adult Bedoons, since even if they were not born there, they have lived there most of their lives or have close family or other important ties. This obligation is especially binding on Kuwait since for decades and sometimes generations, Bedoons enjoyed a legal status in the country. They were settled there, granted legal status and given reasonable expectations of being citizens. They have no comparable claims to such rights in any other country.
For all of these reasons, Kuwait is under a clear obligation to end its arbitrary policies towards the Bedoons. Bedoons must be immediately granted the right to lawful residence and be permitted to travel and seek education and employment without discrimination. A fair process of conferring citizenship on those who qualify must also be instituted and be subject to judicial review. This process must also be consistent with Kuwait's obligations under human rights principles, including the treaties which Kuwait has signed, such as CEDAW and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and those instruments that are part of customary law binding on all nations.
Human Rights Watch calls on the Kuwaiti government to rescind the discriminatory measures it has taken since 1985 towards the Kuwaitis it classifies as Bedoons. These steps have in effect denationalized the Bedoons, depriving them of protection and rights they enjoyed for generations and relegating them to an apartheid- like existence in their own country.
In particular, we urge the Kuwaiti government to take the following measures:
I. For all Bedoons remaining in Kuwait, estimated to be between 150,000 and 180,000, we urge the Kuwaiti government to:
-Restore the Bedoons' right to reside lawfully in Kuwait...
RIGHTS GROUP CHARGES KUWAIT WITH "APARTHEID"
Jul 31, 1995 - amounts to a "policy of apartheid," according to a new report released here by ... The 105-page report, "The Bedoons of Kuwait: Citizens without ...
Bedoon Rights Are Human Rights | SonjaBe.com
Mar 19, 2012 - But those who were born and raised into post-1986 Kuwait's Bedoon, lived the discrimination and apartheid to its fullest.
The Kuwait allegation is another propaganda to ... The treatment of the Bidoon by the government of Kuwait amounts to a policy of apartheid, harassment and intimidation. The Bidoon in Kuwait are not allowed to ...
Kuwaiti Bidoons Community Association By Nasser Al-Anezy
Feb 13, 2009 The situation of the Bidoons in general is aggravating every day. They had been deprived of the majority of their basic human and civil rights starting from the 1980's. The treatment of the Bidoons by the government of Kuwait amounts to a policy of Apartheid, harassment, and intimidation. The Bidoons in Kuwait are not allowed to work or to receive welfare or charity, their children are not allowed to go to school, majority of them are without access to public health care, many sanctions and fiscal charges are imposed on them, they are banned from travel, and they live in poverty and under threat of deportation. Further, blocking the return of 50 percent of the pre-occupation Bidoon population constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under widely accepted international law principles. Also this policy aimed at forcing the remaining Bidoons to be deported from their country, which is a crime against humanity.
Kuwait's double-standard policy of discrimination against the Bidoons has not been criticized by the UN, the US, or even any country in the world. On one hand, Kuwait has been benefiting from the international Law since the Iraqi invasion. On the other hand, they have been violating a vast international convention, even those that Kuwait had signed or ratified over three-decade.
The problem of stateless persons in Kuwait, one of the most prominent problems that weigh on all the considerations of social, political, economic, humanitarian...
- The government created a situation of racism and apartheid, part of the Kuwaiti citizens look at the Bedoons contemptuously; the government isolates the...
Bedoon Rights Apartheid against Bedoon martyrs?
Feb 29, 2012
Bedoon Protester sits in front of a poster with martyr Humoud Al-Enizi’s picture
On Feb 24th, a group of Kuwaiti activists launched a campaign to honor Kuwait Martyrs. The event took place in Bait Al-Grain; a place that witnessed memories of resistance and martyrdom from the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. There, resided a group of 19 young men from the Kuwaiti resistance during the invasion. They were under siege but kept fighting till death and few of them were taken wounded as prisoners of war.
Although there are no Bedoon martyrs among this group but Bedoon martyrs make 26.3% of the total 563 martyrs of Kuwaits 1990/1991 occupation. Most of the 156 Bedoon martyrs were soldiers who were killed during the invasion taking part in military operations at the beginning of the occupation, or as part of the resistance movement, or after being taken as prisoners of war.
Bedoon, who formed 75% of Kuwaiti army back then, continued to fight in 2/08/1990 although there were orders to withdraw. They wanted to save their honor as Salem Soror said, a retired army general & commander of brigade 35 who participated in the Bridges battle.
Immediately after the liberation, discrimination against Bedoon martyrs started. Office of martyrs tried to complicate the procedures for families who wanted to register their martyrs, although proofs were submitted. Many of the Bedoon martyrs were written on Al-Jahra Hospitals board of honor at the main gate since the hospital received their bodies, yet the office of martyrs did not register them.
Tomb stone of Humoud Al-Enizi in Kuwait, written on it "The martyr Humoud Nasser Banoon Al-Enizi"
A shocking story of a Bedoon martyrs family is that of Humoud Al-Enizi who was captured on 02/08/1990 and his body was found in 2004 in a mass grave in Iraq. His 9 kids are in Jordan as refugees as Kuwait refuses to allow them in the country. They are facing hard living conditions away from their birth land. There is an Amiri Decree, No 38/1991 in Article 3 that states: parents, wife, children of martyr minor or adults, should be given Kuwaiti Nationality. Yet, none of the families of Bedoon martyrs were naturalized including Martyr Humoud’s family who is ‘officially registered’!
Bidoon in Kuwait - CrowdVoice
Over 100,000 residents of Kuwait are stateless, despite living in Kuwait for centuries. The bidoon (meaning, "with...out nationality") are discriminated against in every walk of life: they often cannot obtain marriage lisences, driver's licenses or birth certificates, which makes owing property, traveling outside the country, and legally establishing a family impossible. The bidoon are deprived of all state services given to citizens like child stipends, free health care, public education and subsidized housing. Bidoons cannot study in universities, join clubs and associations or work in government and due to their lack of documentation have trouble finding other jobs. The Kuwaiti regime claims that many of the bidoon are "illegal residents" who came to Kuwait after 1920, and should return to their countries of origin.
Kuwaiti Bedoons call for official Kuwaiti citizenship - London
Jan 22, 2012 Instead of showing gratitude that the Bedoons had, though suffering discrimination, volunteered to put their own lives at risk to defend Kuwait, ...