On the International Day of Non-Violence (2 October, 2012), the stateless community of Kuwait decided to protest to demand their right to citizenship. The community has been protesting, on and off, since February 2011. Over the past two years, the self-acclaimed ‘Gulf democracy’ has arrested more than 200 protesters, put them on trial, fabricated charges against them, and then acquitted them.
This Tuesday, the protest was different as it attracted more than 3,000 protesters, foreign media, and several NGOs.
In the past weeks, the protesters were way smaller, comparatively, of a community estimated to be about 120,000 of Kuwait's 3 million population. Bedoon translates to without, and in this case refers to Kuwaitis with no official documents like passports and ID cards.
According to Bedoon Rights, the security forces used rubber bullets, smoke bombs, tear gas, sound bombs, and for the first time shotguns. Confirmed news say Abdulatif Al-Nabhan was shot in his eye and has a little chance to rescue it right now. Here are different pictures posted by Bedoon and Kuwaiti netizens online:
This video (posted by 7MGAN) puts together a 15 minute footage of the Bedoon protest:
In response to criticism, the Interior Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday night accusing the Bedoon of the following:
1- Distracting the work of the Central Agency through social media and making false accusations against this governmental body 2- Causing problems in the country in abuse of the crisis that the country is going through 3- Rioting, violence, and calling for an illegal protest 4- Vandalism, blocking traffic, and starting fires in public and private properties 5- Risking the lives of citizens 6- Attacking security men and 7- Vandalizing ambulances and throwing stones on them and on security men.