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Bedoons Agency backs down on promises: MP

Lawmaker blasts government non-cooperation

KUWAIT: Opposition MP Abdullah Fahhad strongly criticized the Central Bedoons Agency, saying it has backed down on pledges to resolve the problem of stateless people who had obtained their country passports which turned out to be fake. The agency had initially promised to grant those people security identification cards which works as a personal identification document but later changed its mind and decided to grant them health cards it said will work like security IDs, MP Fahhad said in a statement.

But when the affected bedoons went to the Agency to obtain the promised health cards, the officials there asked them to sign a pledge to legalize their situation which means they are no longer considered bedoons and lose any right to Kuwaiti citizenship, he said. Fahhad added that the agency officials also wanted to register their nationality in any document in accordance with their passports which means the measure will further complicate their problem rather than resolving it.
There are around 110,000 bedoons in Kuwait who claim the right to Kuwaiti citizenship. The government insists that a majority of them do not qualify for citizenship because they or their forefathers had citizenship of other countries and destroyed them to claim Kuwaiti citizenship. The government however admits that just over 30,000 of them qualify for consideration for naturalization.

Fahhad called on the Interior Minister to intervene and resolve the issue as was agreed between the National Assembly Human Rights Panel and government agencies. The Bedoons Agency however announced yesterday that it has completed arrangements with the Education Ministry to ensure that children of bedoons with fake passports are enrolled in public schools. The agency called on bedoons with fake passports who have not enrolled their children at schools to visit the agency.
In the meantime, opposition MP Nasser Al-Dossari yesterday criticized the government for failing to cooperate with the National Assembly saying that the government did not fulfill several promises. Dossari said that there is no excuse for the government not to achieve popular demands after it had sufficient time to review its policies during the summer recess of the National Assembly.

He said the government should take parliamentary remarks more seriously and adopt decisions to apply reforms in various fields. He also hoped that the government will come in the next term with a new vision that should form the basis for stronger cooperation. Dossari said the government has failed to fulfill pledges on a number of issues including the return of citizenships withdrawn from a number of opposition leaders.

By B Izzak


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