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Thu 14 Aug 2014 11:10 AM

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Kuwait to strip citizenship from some living abroad

The country is reportedly using the threat of revoking citizenship to crackdown on political dissent, already leaving 10 ppl stateless this week.

Kuwait to strip citizenship from some living abroad

Kuwait has said it will strip citizenship from some naturalised citizens living abroad, according to a local newspaper, days after it revoked the citizenship of 10 people who had non-conforming political views. 

The dramatic decision could leave tens of people effectively stateless because of Kuwait’s policy against dual citizenship.

Arabic daily Al Rai quoted security sources that said the government would revoke citizenship of some naturalised Kuwaitis who were included in the 1965 census – a key criteria for Kuwaiti citizenship – but live abroad.

Earlier this week, the government defended its decision to strip citizenship of 10 people because they had not been included in the 1965 census, despite some of them producing documents that showed they were born years later. Others argued they were born in the desert, which is common in the Gulf, so therefore did not have documentation.

It has been argued the country’s rulers have used the threat of revoking citizenship to clampdown on political activities, with many reportedly declaring they would “leave the political scene” to avoid becoming state-less.

The security source told Al Rai some former MPs were attempting to coerce the government to reconsider its decision. They had asked some current lawmakers and prominent dignitaries to intervene to prevent further citizenships from being withdrawn.

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