Kuwaiti 'Bedoon' Sets Himself on Fire

Published June 10th, 2021 - 08:30 GMT
Man on fire
Man sets himself ablaze (Shutterstock)

Five lawmakers yesterday submitted a draft law stipulating basic rights for thousands of stateless people or bedoons, several hours after a Bedoon man in his 60s tried to immolate himself. The man poured petrol on his body and set himself ablaze for unknown reasons. He was taken to hospital for treatment of deep burns and is in critical condition.

The suicide attempt comes a few days after a young bedoon boy died while selling flowers under the scorching heat of the sun. The number of suicide cases among bedoons, many of whom are denied essential humanitarian rights to force them to reveal their original identity, has been on the rise in recent months in protest against their treatment by authorities.

Many bedoons, who number more than 120,000, are denied the right to education, health, jobs and even marriage certificates in order to force them to reveal their original identities. Bedoons claim they have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship because they or their forefathers had come to Kuwait decades ago, but the government says only 34,000 of them qualify for consideration for citizenship, while the rest dumped their passports to claim Kuwaiti citizenship.

Opposition MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri yesterday blamed the authorities for causing the bedoon crisis, saying that the government should produce evidence that some of the bedoons have citizenship of other countries. He said authorities should show that such bedoons are either Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Saudi or of other nationalities and must produce clear evidence, or should grant them Kuwaiti citizenship. This will end the crisis, he said.

Meanwhile, MP Ahmad Al-Hamad yesterday submitted amendments to the law calling to grant children of Kuwaiti women from foreign husbands residence under article 24 (self-sponsorship). He said these children should be treated like Kuwaitis with free education and healthcare and employment. If the Kuwaiti mother dies, the residency should remain valid, he said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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