Kuwait: Struggle of the Bedoon Takes Root Online

This post is part of our special coverage on Refugees.

Since the beginning of the so-called Arab Spring, that has brought to the forefront the atrocities Arabs face at the hands of their ruling clans, Kuwait's stateless population, which numbers more than 120,000, has been struggling to make its voice heard.

Like protesters across the region, they too, staged rallies and demonstrations to draw attention to their condition. Known as Bedoon, which translates to ‘without’, stateless Kuwaitis are generations of people without a nationality or the passports and documents we all need to identify ourselves. Thereby, they have no access to education, health care, employment and recognition in the country they, their parents and sometimes even their grandparents, were born in but where they have no citizenship or rights.

The new Bedoon Rights blog: Hightling the stuggle of Kuwait's stateless population

The new Bedoon Rights blog: Hightling the stuggle of Kuwait's stateless population

One stateless Kuwaiti blogger, Mona Kareem (a Global Voices author), has taken their plight online through a new blog, entitled Bedoon Rights, which has been launched to draw attention to the plight of this significant number of people residing in Kuwait. The site contains information and articles in English, tackling news and views regarding the Bedoon.

According to the Bedoon Rights About Page:

There are at least 120,000 Bidun jinsiyya (without nationality) in Kuwait today suffering from the lack of human rights. They cannot legally obtain birth, death, marriage or divorce certificates. The same applies to driving licenses, identification cards, and passports. They do not have access to public education, health care, housing or employment. And while they face some of the state’s harshest discrimination policies, they have no recourse to the law and its courts. Simply stated, the Bidun, who are equal to about 10% of the Kuwaiti population, do not exist. They have been dehumanized and rendered invisible by government policies coupled with pervasive social stigmatization.

It continues:

This network comes as a necessity due to the lack of references in English about our cause and struggle. Stateless activists and protesters in the past few years have been harassed, arrested, mistreated, and put to trials for speaking up. The network makes sure newsletters are sent regularly to organizations and media to inform them of the situation and violations of Bedoon human rights.

This post is part of our special coverage on Refugees.

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