Feb 20, 2011
Hundreds of Bidoon protesters have once again staged a protest rally in Kuwait to demand basic social rights in the oil-rich Persian Gulf country.
The demonstration turned violent on Saturday when riot police opened fire on the protesters in Sulaibiya, a village outside Kuwait City, AFP reported.
The stateless Arabs, known as Bidoons, demand the right to Kuwaiti citizenship and the right to work in the country.
At least seven people were injured and dozens more arrested in the unrest.
Five individuals, including a security officer, were wounded in similar clashes in the capital on Friday and around 100 others were detained in the city of Jahra, west of Kuwait City.
The Kuwaiti government claims the ancestors of many Arab Bidoons came from neighboring countries and therefore they are not entitled to citizenship.
In 2000, Kuwaiti authorities launched a campaign on the Bidoons in a bid to force the group to “reveal their true identities,” depriving them of basic rights, including healthcare, education and jobs.
Moreover, the group is commonly deprived from obtaining driver’s licenses and birth or death certificates. They are also banned from getting their marriage contracts attested.
While the average monthly salary of native Kuwaiti citizens surpasses $3,500, many Bidoons live under poor economic conditions in the oil-rich country.
This article was posted: Sunday, February 20, 2011 at 8:05 am