The Bedoon revolt

Unfortunately, Kuwait witnessed another day of crackdown on public liberties today, when a group of Bedoons (the stateless population of Kuwait) who held a peaceful protest to demand their civil rights were attacked by security forces in Jahra, roughly 30 km to the west of Kuwait city. The Ministry of Interior’s spokesman said that the police talked to the demonstrators in civilized manner, and asked them to ‘resolve their grievances through legal channels’! as if there is any legal channel through which these grievances can be resolved.

The sad part is that most of the Kuwaiti media reported the government version of the event. One TV channel crew (Al-Sabah TV), who claimed to have had shots they described as a ‘scope’ on the beginning of the clashes were arrested and taken to a police station where they were detained, questioned, and where their equipments were confiscated. The government claimed that the tapes were taken for security reason, because they don’t want the other countries to get photos showing the security forces!

Many Kuwaiti people are accusing the Bedoons who demonstrated of hating Kuwait, because they were doing so before the celebrations of the 50 anniversary of Kuwait’s independence.

Though there is a part of truth there, you can’t blame the victim for the time he shouts. Also, there is another angle to this same story, which is that Kuwait is welling to live with itself after half a century of independence to celebrate this anniversary while there are people who are deprived of their basic human rights living in Kuwait. Many of these people have proofs of residence in Kuwait even before the actual date of independence in 1961. But even regardless to this fact, those people, AS PEOPLE, deserve to have access to the basic human rights that are entitled to every human being for being a human.

As some would argue that it is a shame to disrupt the festive spirit of the anniversary with protests for human rights, I suggest they take a moment to understand what does these 50 years mean for this segment of Kuwaiti society who spent all of this time waiting for the government to resolve their problems. I suggest they take a moment to think whether a country that failed to provide its residents with the basic human rights deserve to be celebrating the passing of 50 years of independence as a joyous occasion.

With that been said, I do believe that the timing could’ve been better. Carrying out these demonstrations after the celebration would’ve made a better impact among the public.

Either way, this does not mean that Kuwait can afford to continue to ignore the problem of these 120,000 residents. This time the demonstrations went a little violent, some people were arrested, and some were hurt. Nothing that cannot be fixed hopefully. The most important thing for now is for the government of Kuwait to take some tangible steps to resolve this issue once and forever, so that there will not be next time, and so that we will not speculate what it might end up with.

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