According to a security source, the boy was hit by a vehicle at a traffic signal where he was selling flowers. Image Credit: Twitter/IANS

Dubai: A 'stateless' boy in Kuwait, who was selling flowers at traffic intersections, died after being run over by a car in the Damascus Street in the capital Kuwait City, local media reported.

The 12-year-old Bidoon Jarrah Ayed Al Shammari was rushed to the Amiri hospital but was declared dead upon arrival. Medical staff found eight dinars in the boy’s pocket that were the proceeds from selling flowers. The body was referred to the forensics department.

The victim used to sell roses and flower bouquets at traffic intersections and signals to help his poor family.

According to a security source, the boy was hit by a vehicle at a traffic signal where he was selling flowers.

Dr. Maitham Hussein, who was passing by, saw the accident and tried along with a Kuwaiti woman to resuscitate the boy before he was taken to hospital.

Who are the Bidoon?
The Bidoon stateless minority in Kuwait is estimated at about 100,000. The problem, affecting citizenship rights, has persisted since Kuwait’s independence in 1961. The word 'Bidoon' refers to a group of people 'without a nationality'. They are an indigenous group of people who lived throughout the Arabian Peninsula prior to the establishment of modern Gulf states.

On his twitter account, Dr. Hussein wrote: “I and a young Kuwaiti woman tried to resuscitate the boy, but unfortunately he died of his injuries at the Amiri hospital while doctors were trying to conduct a second resuscitation attempt.”

He added: “I wonder for how long the Bidoon have to suffer in this country of humanity.” Eight dinars were found in the child’s pocket - the proceeds from the flowers which he had sold.”

A man close to the victim’s family told local media that the family was kicked out from the house they lived in, prompting the boy to sell flowers to help his family.

#MartyrdomOf Bidoon

The tragic death of the Bidoon flower seller sparked anger among activists and social media users who launched #MartyrdomOf Bidoon hashtag that saw a barrage of condolences, sympathy and criticism of the authorities pouring in on social media platforms. They held official bodies responsibile for the consecutive painful incidents that have been recently reported among the stateless community in Kuwait.

Also, a series of suicide incidents was reported among Bidoon Kuwaitis due to despair over their social status and restrictions imposed on the stateless minority’s rights.