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Kuwait appeals court restores ex-lawmaker's citizenship

AFP , Tuesday 26 May 2015
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A Kuwaiti appeals court on Tuesday overturned a decision by the Gulf state's government to revoke the citizenship of a former Islamist opposition lawmaker and his family, his lawyer said.

"Thank God, the court has scrapped the decision and restored the citizenship of the Barghash family," lawyer Al-Humaidi al-Subaie wrote on his Twitter account.

The government had revoked the citizenship of Abdullah al-Barghash, his two brothers and sister, and their children, last July.

It charged that the family had been granted citizenship on the basis of false information, something Barghash denied.

Opposition activists described the government's action as "politically motivated" and part of a wider crackdown on dissent.

The government also revoked the citizenship of other opposition figures, including Alam Al-Youm newspaper owner Ahmad Jabr al-Shemmari and Popular Action Movement spokesman Saad al-Ajmi, who was later deported to Saudi Arabia.

Human Rights Watch denounced what it called a "crackdown on people seeking reform".

A lower court had ruled that it had no jurisdiction over citizenship issues because they were a sovereign matter.

But the appeals court ruled that the government should state its reasons for revoking the citizenship of the Barghash family, something it refused to do.

Kuwait has a citizen population of 1.3 million, a large number of them through naturalisation. It has 2.9 million foreign residents.

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