Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

13 July 2012

Kuwait must respect freedom of expression and assembly for Bidun

Kuwait must respect freedom of expression and assembly for Bidun

The authorities in Kuwait must allow the community of stateless individuals known as Bidun to peacefully exercise their right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, in line with international human rights standards.

On 12 July 2012 the Ministry of the Interior issued another warning for “illegal residents” in Kuwait not to demonstrate. This followed a peaceful protest by some of the Bidun on 5 July 2012 that Kuwaiti security forces broke up using water canons, tear gas and beatings. Eleven Bidun were arrested and are believed to remain in custody.

Bidun in Kuwait have been protesting regularly after Friday’s prayer in Freedom Square in Taima’ in the Governorate of Jahra, north western Kuwait against their continuing statelessness and to demand Kuwaiti nationality, which would allow them to access free education, free health care and employment opportunities on the same basis as Kuwaiti citizens. The Kuwaiti authorities consider many of them to be illegal residents.

Kuwaiti law prohibits non-Kuwaiti nationals from holding demonstrations.

Amnesty International said that the fact that a peaceful protest has not been granted an official permit did not justify arbitrary arrest or the unnecessary or disproportionate use of force by police against protesters.

The organization called on the Kuwaiti authorities to ensure that Bidun who wish to peacefully protest are allowed to so and that the law fully guarantees the right to freedom of assembly without discrimination, in line with international law.

Amnesty International also urged the Kuwaiti government to intensify its efforts to find a lasting solution to the situation of the Bidun. In particular, the Bidun's human rights must be upheld without discrimination, in particular their rights to health, education and work.

2011 marked the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s independence as well as the 50th anniversary of statelessness for the Bidun in Kuwait.

Issue

Activists 
Detention 
Freedom Of Expression 
Torture And Ill-treatment 

Country

Kuwait 

Region

Middle East And North Africa 

Follow #kuwait @amnestyonline on twitter

News

10 July 2014

The identities of some of those suspected of ordering or committing the atrocities that have been taking place in the Central African Republic have been made public in a new... Read more »

19 June 2014

Chile’s commitment to decriminalize abortion in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape, the woman’s life is in danger and when the foetus is not viable is a positive... Read more »

08 July 2014

The potential handover of 153 asylum seekers to Sri Lanka's Navy would put Australia in blatant breach of international law and set a dangerous precedent.

Read more »
09 July 2014

In their determination to seal off their borders, the European Union and its member states are putting the lives and rights of refugees and migrants at risk, Amnesty... Read more »

08 July 2014

Amnesty International is calling on the Israeli authorities and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including the military wing of Hamas, to ensure that civilian lives are... Read more »