Assembly panel rejects citizenship for non-Muslims – Panel nods to social, civil rights for Bedoons


KUWAIT: The National Assembly’s interior and defense committee the other day declined a draft law to allow authorities to give Kuwaiti citizenship to non-Muslims which is forbidden under the law, head of the committee said. MP Askar Al-Enezi stated the rejection was based on a constitutional provision which specifies that “Islam is the main religious beliefs of the state.”

Kuwait’s citizenship law provided for the very first time in 1959 allowed the naturalization of non-Muslims but this provision was modified by the National Assembly in 1981 thus restricting approving citizenship to non-Muslims.

The legal and legal committee less than a month earlier approved the draft law, saying it did not violate the constitution. However Islamist and conservative legislators highly opposed the move and pledged to reject when it comes for enacting the assembly.

Enezi said that the government likewise turned down the draft law, supporting the opinion of the committee. Interior Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah participated in the conference.

The lawmaker said the interior minister informed the committee that the federal government will submit a draft law proposing changes to the citizenship law. The changes will enable granting citizenship to wives and widows of Kuwaiti men and the foreign kids of Kuwaiti women after reaching the legal age.

In the meantime, the assembly’s human rights committee yesterday approved a draft law granting civil and social rights for Bedoons or stateless individuals, head of the committee MP Adel Al-Damkhi stated. Damkhi said the bill offers extensive rights for 10s of countless Bedoons in the nation. The bill requires to be gone by the national assembly in a vote.

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