12 Kuwaiti NGOs condemn MOI violence against Bedoon

Stateless Arabs, locally known as bidoons, take part in a demonstration in demand of the Kuwaiti citizenship and basic rights, in Jahra, 50 kms (31 miles) northwest of Kuwait City, on October 2, 2013. Bidoons were born and raised in Kuwait and claim they have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship, but the government says only 34,000 of a total of over 106,000 qualify for consideration, while the rest hold other nationalities. AFP PHOTO/YASSER AL-ZAYYAT

[Pictures from the 2nd of October protest]

12 Kuwaiti NGOs condemn MOI violence against Bedoon and call for treatment of 12 injured protestors, cease violence, and reach a fair solution

12 Kuwaiti groups issued a statement condemning Ministry of Interior’s (MoI) violent suppression of Bedoon protests on International non-violence day on October 2, 2012. They accuse MoI of negligence in providing medical care to injured protestors, which lead to permanent disability in one case. Here’s the statement:

“Not only did the government turn a blind eye to the human rights violations committed against Bedoon during their peaceful protests at Taima (north east of Kuwait City) on October 2 which lead to many protesters incurring serious injuries, but it continued its practice of not providing medical care to some of the protesters and avoided brining those police men who caused these injuries to justice.

We have indentified many cases of injuries among protestors that were caused by baton blows, violent dragging of people on the street, and burns cased by smoke and sound bombs that were intentionally directed by Police Special Forces towards the bodies of protestors. Rubber bullets were also used causing permanent damage to the eye of one protestor: Abdul Lateef Al Shammari, who is in need of immediate medical treatment outside Kuwait. The reluctance of MOI to investigate this case is due to the apparent involvement of some of its forces in this accident.

Therefore, we signing below, ask the government to provide appropriate medical care to injured protestors, including sending those critical cases for treatment abroad. Leaving these injuries untreated will just cause more protests and sit-ins that seem to continue to escalate despite the suppression of the MOI, as indicated by the spread of protests to other areas in Kuwait in the days following the October 2 protests in Taima.

We strongly affirm that the policy of suppression and intimidations used by MOI will never put an end to the demands of Bedoons that are getting louder and louder due to continued inaction by the government. The government should immediately cease its violent suppression of protests and start considering real solutions to the problem of Bedoon, that should include allowing citizenship claims to be referred to the courts of law, which should have the final saying regarding this in order to achieve justice to Bedoon and stability to our country. The NGOs signing this statement:

  1. Group 29
  2. Human Rights Society
  3. The Progressive Current
  4. Active Citizenship Centre
  5. The Civil Constitutional Movement (Hadam)
  6. Kuwaiti Action Group (Ma’ak)
  7. The Democratic Forum
  8. The Kuwaiti Bedoon Committee
  9. The Kuwait Bedoon Group
  10. The Kuwaiti Lawyers’ Association
  11. The National Alliance
  12. The Voice of Kuwait

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