MOSCOW, November 10 (Sputnik) — Kuwait’s offer of investments to the Union of Comoros in return for citizenship for the stateless Bidun people, who were born and raised in Kuwait is a “shameless betrayal” of human rights obligations, Amnesty International said in a report Monday.
“It is shocking that authorities in Kuwait would try to resolve the long-standing issue of the Biduns’ statelessness and discrimination by mass purchasing another country's 'economic citizenship',” Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa program said in the report on the organizations's website.
"Many Bidun currently, living in Kuwait, were born and raised in Kuwait. They are entitled to a fair, transparent and prompt adjudication of their applications for Kuwaiti citizenship,” Boumedouha added.
The Bidun people, also known as Bidoon, settled in Kuwait before and after the country’s independence in 1961. Kuwait considers them immigrants from neighboring countries and says that only about 35,000 are eligible for citizenship. According to Amnesty, the number of those eligible exceeds 100,000.
The organization said that Kuwait has denied a fair chance for Bidun people to acquire its citizenship, and has so far considered them “illegal residents”. Owing to this, the Bidun people are unable to work, access health care services and education.
In October 2012, the Kuwaiti government promised to resolve the Bidun issue in five years in a statement to Amnesty by Prime Minister Jaber Sabah.
Said Boumedouha was quoted as saying in the report, that Kuwait was "playing" with the lives and future of these people, and should "find a long-term solution to this problem by ensuring all Biduns have access to an independent, prompt and fair process when applying for citizenship."