Kuwait vows citizenship for 3,000 stateless Arabs
Kuwait is to give citizenship to some 3,000 ‘bidoons’, according to the central agency responsible for addressing the status of illegal residents.
The files of the individuals, who belong to a 1965 census, will be taken to the cabinet in the run up to their naturalisation, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA has reported.
Head of the agency Saleh Al-Fadhala said the residents would receive their Kuwaiti citizenship “as soon as possible”, and that many sons of Kuwaiti widows and divorcees had already been naturalised.
In January this year, more than 4,000 of individuals took to the streets in Kuwait City for a month-long protest, demanding citizenship, access to state services and other human rights.
The country’s interior minister Sheikh Ahmad al-Humud al-Sabah has since announced plans to introduce new laws which would permit the naturalisation of some individuals, providing they meet a certain criteria.
He added that since March last year, some 526 people have been granted citizenship and others would be given the same soon.
However, around 150 stateless individuals are also facing trial, for allegedly taking part in illegal protests and violence during the unrest.