Kuwait police fire water cannons as stateless Arabs rally

Bidoons take to streets to stage rally to press Kuwait government for citizenship rights
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Stateless Arabs, known as bidoons, run for cover as riot police throw tear gas to disperse the protesters demanding citizenship and other basic rights (AFP/Getty Images)
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Witnesses said police charged demonstrators repeatedly and detained a number of people, including one reporter who was covering the protest outside Kuwait city (AFP/Getty Images)
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The Interior Ministry of the oil-exporting Gulf state said protesters had caused property damage and wounded a police commander, prompting security forces to use force (AFP/Getty Images)
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It vowed in a statement to 'deal firmly and with severity with any illegal gatherings or marches organised in the future' (AFP/Getty Images)
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Stateless Arabs, known as Bidoons, often hold small-scale demonstrations in marginalised neighbourhoods near the capital (AFP/Getty Images)
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On Monday, some leading activists joined some 1,000 stateless Arabs at the protest in Al Jahra province, northwest of Kuwait City (AFP/Getty Images)
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Kuwait has avoided a spillover of the 'Arab Spring' pro-democracy revolts thanks to its generous welfare system (AFP/Getty Images)
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The number of Kuwaiti Bidoons is estimated at up to 180,000 inside the country and possibly 100,000 outside (AFP/Getty Images)
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The World Bank put Kuwait's population, including foreign workers, at more than 2.7 million in 2010 (AFP/Getty Images)
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Many of Kuwait's stateless are descendants of desert nomads denied citizenship under strict nationality laws in the small Gulf state, whose citizens are entitled to hefty welfare benefits (AFP/Getty Images)