A Kuwaiti court Saturday sentenced three stateless Arabs to seven years each in prison for burning two buses in protest at the instigation of legal action against stateless people in the emirate, court sources said.
Riyad Aziz, 18, Ali Jaber, 20, and Waleed Jaber, 18, were convicted of setting fire to two buses parked in a police station in Jahra, a town 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Kuwait City, last July.
The court also fined two other young men 245 dollars each for assisting the arsonists, who left a note by the buses saying "Beware of Bidoon", an Arabic word that means without papers.
In July, Kuwait began legal action against tens of thousands of bidoon whom it accuses of forgery, staying illegally and supplying false information.
The emirate officially has 102,000 bidoon and charges that many of them crossed into Kuwait from neighboring countries, mainly Iraq, after the oil boom of the 1950s.
The government has agreed to consider granting Kuwaiti citizenship to the 36,000 bidoon who registered in Kuwait's first census in 1965. The remaining 66,000 were excluded and given until June 27 to legalize their status.
The bidoon, most of whom were born in the Gulf state, have generally lived in Kuwait for several decades and protest they have been deprived of Kuwaiti citizenship because the nationality law is not being applied correctly – KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )