Government to study case of bedoons with fake passports

KUWAIT: Stateless Arabs, (known locally as bedoon), protested to demand citizenship in this 9 November 2013 file photo. – Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: The government has agreed to form a committee to look into cases of stateless people, known locally as bedoons, who have obtained fake passports from a number of foreign countries, head of the national assembly human rights committee said yesterday.

MP Adel Al-Damkhi said the committee will be formed by the interior ministry and the Central Bedoons Agency and will provide the assembly panel on August 24 with a detailed report on the issue including the number of bedoons holding fake passports and the proposed method to deal with the issue.

Thousands of bedoons are believed to have obtained passports of other countries against paying money since the 1990s after the interior ministry began imposing restrictions on bedoons. Many of these passports were found to be fake and the foreign countries refused to recognize or renew them. As a result, the problem of those bedoons, whose numbers are not known, became compounded as authorities granting certain services.

There are about 110,000 stateless people living in Kuwait and who claim the right to Kuwaiti citizenship while the government says that a majority of them or their ancestors have deliberately lost their original passports of other countries to claim Kuwaiti citizenship.

Speaking after a meeting with the interior minister and the head of the Bedoon Agency, MP Damkhi said the ministry will soon announce a mechanism to receive those who hold fake passports in order to estimate their numbers and consider a proper solution.

The lawmaker said the panel will send questions related to the issue to the interior ministry in a bid to help resolve the problem. He also called on bedoon holding fake passports to submit their documents to the planned committee after its formation.

MP Faraj Arbeed yesterday warned he would grill the health minister at the start of the next assembly term in October if he takes wrong decisions in new appointments in the ministry.

He claimed that the minister is planning to make the appointments in the absence of the national assembly through summer recess.

By B Izzak

 

This article was published on 13/07/2017