Kuwait to restore citizenship of opposition figures: MPs

Kuwait to restore citizenship of opposition figures: MPs
Kuwaitis and MPs receive people at MPs Abdullah Al-Barghah residence in Diwaniya, 30 kilometres South of Kuwait City, on Monday, after their Kuwaiti citizenship was reinstated by orders of the Emir of Kuwait. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2017

Kuwait to restore citizenship of opposition figures: MPs

Kuwait to restore citizenship of opposition figures: MPs

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait will restore the citizenship of opposition figures and dozens of their relatives nearly three years after revoking it in a crackdown on dissent, lawmakers said Monday.
“Our thanks to the emir for his generous gesture of restoring the revoked citizenships,” hard-liner opposition MP Mohammad Al-Dallal tweeted after a meeting with Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.
Several of the 14 MPs who attended the meeting confirmed that the Gulf state’s ruler had ordered the citizenships to be restored.
The Kuwaiti government in mid-2014 stripped at least four opposition figures and dozens of their family members of their nationality as part of a crackdown on dissent.
Those affected included radical former opposition MP Abdullah Al-Barghash and more than 50 members of his extended family.
They also included former spokesman of the opposition Popular Action Movement Saad Al-Ajmi, who was later deported to Saudi Arabia.
The owner of the opposition-linked Alam Al-Youm newspaper Ahmad Jabr Al-Shemmari and radical preacher Nabil Al-Awadhi also lost their nationality.
Several of those affected sued the government.
The move to restore their status comes after a November snap election in which opposition groups participated after a four-year boycott, winning almost half of the 50 seats.
Opposition groups and candidates made restoring citizenship rights a key election pledge.
Kuwait has a native population of 1.35 million, many of whom became citizens through naturalization. The emirate also has 3.1 million foreign residents.