Dubai: A young stateless man in Kuwait committed suicide by hanging himself in Al Jahra area of Kuwait on Sunday, local media reported.
The body of the 26-year-old Yaqoub Mofreh Abdullah was found hanging from a tree just next to the tent where he lived. According to Kuwaiti media, the Bidoon (stateless) man was working as a greengrocer at the Central Vegetable Market.
The greengrocer’s death is the second suicide incident in less a month, after a stateless teenager committed suicide due to poor living conditions. The suicide of the 12-year-old boy brought to the fore the decades-long plight of the “Bidoon” community.
In 1959, then Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Al Sabah, initiated the nationality law that stated, “Kuwaitis, by origin, are those settled in Kuwait before 1920, who have maintained their regular residence in it up to the day of the issuance of this law.”
At that time, many Bidoon lived as per traditional migratory patterns and did not apply for citizenship for several reasons: 1) they were unable to prove their continuous residence in one place, 2) they did not see the importance in doing so and 3) were unable to travel to Kuwait City to register.
-Yasmena Al Mulla, Correspondent
Earlier this month, dozens of Bidoon protested in public after the teenager committed suicide allegedly due to despair over his family’s social status and restrictions imposed on the stateless community’s rights.
The stateless minority in Kuwait is estimated at about 100,000. The problem, affecting citizenship rights, has persisted since Kuwait’s independence in 1961.