Manama: Kuwait has revoked the citizenship of 18 people, citing naturalisation irregularities that included false declarations and illegal double nationalities as well as security concerns.
According to the Kuwaiti cabinet statement, eight of the people who lost their citizenship were from the Mutair tribe, five from Al Obaidan family, one from the Al Ajman tribe and four others from various families.
Saad Al Ajmi, an opposition figure and former correspondent of the pan-Arab satellite channel Al Arabiya, was among those who were stripped of the nationality by the cabinet on Monday.
His first public reaction was to tweet that he was ready “to sacrifice his soul and possessions for Kuwait”.
“In my grave the angels will ask me ‘who is your God, who is your prophet, what is your faith’, but they will not ask me ‘what is your citizenship’,” he wrote.
Al Ajmi belongs to the opposition Popular Action Bloc, which also includes fiery opposition leader Musallam Al Barrak.
In response to the revocation, Al Barrak issued a statement saying: “It is clear that they want to create precedents that have nothing to do with the law in order to eliminate those who oppose them,” in an apparent reference to the government.
In a statement following the weekly cabinet session, Shaikh Mohammad Al Abdullah, the state minister for cabinet affairs, said that the ministers reviewed a report by the high committee on Kuwaiti nationalities.
Ten nationalities were revoked on the basis of Article 13 of the 1959 Kuwaiti citizenship law, while Article 11 was the legal ground for seven cases, including Al Ajmi, and Article 21 for one case, he said.
Al Ajmi’s nationality was revoked “for possessing the Saudi nationality and for providing personal details that were different from the data in his Saudi file,” local daily Al Rai reported.
Article 11 stipulates that a Kuwaiti national loses his Kuwaiti nationality if he holds the citizenship of another state while Article 21 states that the Kuwaiti nationality may be revoked if it was obtained by fraud or on the basis of a false declaration or false evidence submitted by a witness.
In August, MP Faisal Al Duwaisan asked the government to revoke the Kuwaiti citizenship of all people who obtained it illegally irrespective of whether they supported or opposed the policies of the government.
Kuwait had revoked nationalities in July and August.