Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Kuwait: Don't Deny Right to Freedom of Expression

Publisher Human Rights Watch
Publication Date 13 January 2012
Cite as Human Rights Watch, Kuwait: Don't Deny Right to Freedom of Expression, 13 January 2012, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

A government order to Bidun residents, a group the government considers "illegal residents," not to organize demonstrations denies their rights and should be revoked, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement on January 11, 2012, saying that it will "absolutely not allow the brothers who are illegal residents to organize any rallies, gatherings, sit-ins or demonstrations regardless of their nature, objective and mission."

"This is a shameful effort to curb the rights to peaceful expression and assembly of Kuwait's Bidun," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "These universal rights belong to everyone, regardless of whether they are considered citizens or are fighting to gain citizenship."

More than 106,000 people, known as Bidun, are considered illegal residents by the Kuwait government and have been denied citizenship for decades even though many are longtime residents. The Bidun have organized numerous demonstrations since February 2011 calling on authorities to address their citizenship claims. 

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