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Kuwaiti MP wants protesting stateless sent to desert camp

AFP , Thursday 17 Apr 2014

A Kuwaiti lawmaker Thursday urged his government to send stateless people convicted of breaching public security and protesting to a camp he suggested should be built in the desert.

Nabil al-Fadhl, a pro-government MP known for his strong positions against Kuwait's stateless people, said the camp should be supplied with food and the necessary amenities.

He said the facility should be modelled on "a camp in Rafha, Saudi Arabia," which housed thousands of Iraqi refugees who fled repression by late president Saddam Hussein.

Around 110,000 stateless people -- locally known as bidoons -- were born and raised in the oil-rich emirate and claim the right to Kuwaiti citizenship.

But the government says only 34,000 of them qualify for consideration and that the rest hold other nationalities.

Over the past two years, bidoons have held demonstrations to demand citizenship and other basic rights, and police have dispersed them using force, arresting hundreds who are on trial for illegal protests and assaulting police.

Fadhl said bidoons have recently violated the law by holding the protests, throwing rocks at police and even shooting at them.

The proposal, which must be approved by parliament and then accepted by the government before it can be implemented, also calls on authorities to send bidoons who received deportation orders to the camp.

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