• Bahrain revokes the nationality of a further 115 this month

    We are less than half way through 2018, but this year has already witnessed the highest number of individuals who have had their nationality withdrawn from them in Bahrain. It is difficult to track the exact numbers since, unfortunately, new cases are emerging all the time. However, towards the end of May, 226 people had been a victim of this measure, bringing the average to 45 nationality deprivations a month during 2018 - or more than one person a day. These latest cases have brought the total number of people affected to 732 since 2012. This echoes a growing trend in Bahrain, the Gulf, and more globally, of states withdrawing the nationality of individuals they perceive - or accuse of - being a threat to national security.

    Bahraini authorities have accused these individuals of militancy, in a series of mass trials, whilst rights activists say the majority are peaceful opposition members. Alongside having their nationality revoked, they also face other criminal punishments, 53 for were convicted of terrorism and faced life sentences. The vast majority of those stripped of citizenship do not possess any other nationality and have been left stateless.

    • Ce sont les premiers signes d’un prochain éclatement de la dynastie wahhabite, car la rente du pétrole s’amenuisant, le conflit contre les Houtis yéménites s’éternisant et une population qui comprend mal les dépenses outrancières en achat de matériel militaire, on risque de voir un scénario « à la libyenne » entre les différentes « familles » qui constituent la nébuleuse royale

  • 20 FEB 2017
    Non-Muslim citizenship sought - PRISON ASSAULT ON MUSALLAM AL-BARRAK - ARAB TIMES

    KUWAIT CITY, Feb 20: MP Khalid Al-Shatti has presented a bill allowing non-Muslims to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship by repealing Clause Five under Article Four of Amiri Decree No. 15/1985 which stipulates granting citizenship only to Muslims.

    He explained this condition contravenes the legal concept of citizenship as the relationship between man and God has nothing to do with nationality, citing the famous saying – “Religion belongs to God and the nation belongs to all.” He then stressed the need to remove suspicion of discrimination in the Kuwaiti nation due to the stipulation on granting citizenship only to Muslims.

  • Is Saudi Arabia really willing to normalize ties with Iraq?

    On March 23, Iraq’s Foreign Ministry had leaked that Riyadh had promised to resume direct flights between the two countries and cancel the debt Iraq had incurred in waging the Iraq-Iran War. A week later, however, on March 30, the Saudi Press Agency tweeted a quote from the Saudi Foreign Ministry denying that the government intended to cancel Iraq’s $30 billion deb

  • Discrimination

    “The demand of a Bedoun female teacher who wanted paid maternity leave”: quelle outrecuidance

    MoE reconfirms ban on periodic leave for ‘wage-tied’ Bedouns - Imams, Muezzins ordered to stick to official dress code - ARAB TIMES

    KUWAIT CITY, Jan 11: Ministry of Education has reconfirmed its ban on giving Bedoun employees any periodic vacations in line with the decision of Civil Service Commission (CSC) concerning vacations for those working under the clause of “wage in exchange for work”.

    In this regard, Director of Human Resources Department at the ministry Saud Al-Juwaiser sent a circular to the educational zone directors of all six governorates.

    The circular, which is based on CSC’s letter No. 2016035684, was issued on June 10, 2016 regarding the rights of those working on wage system for periodic vacations, maternity leave, Hajj leave and emergency leaves. It stressed that those working on wage system have no right to receive periodic vacations or similar leaves from work.

    Al-Juwaiser sent this circular in response to the demand of a Bedoun female teacher who wanted paid maternity leave, and the discussion that followed regarding her rights as a Bedoun employee based on laws concerning children, disabled individuals and women and other laws.

  • ‘Equate bedoun, expats in jobs’ - ‘Grant rights on second contract basis’ - ARAB TIMES

    KUWAIT CITY, March 20: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anas Al-Saleh has issued a decision to equate Bedoun employees employed on wages the same way expatriates are employed on second contract basis, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to the decision, Bedoun employees will be entitled to all perks that are granted to expatriates, including the right for all leaves specified in the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

    This includes annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, Hajj leave and other paid leaves. They will also be entitled to monetization of annual leave balance. This is a new dimension to the former situation whereby Bedoun employees were appointed based on wages. This means they were not entitled to allowances and other benefits after retirement. Bedouns can now be employed based on content of this decision, while nobody should seal the employment until they obtain civil ID card.

  • ‘80,000 of 110,000 Bedouns have no hope of getting Kuwaiti citizenship’ - They must correct their status: Maj-Gen Sheikh Mazen - ARAB TIMES

    KUWAIT CITY, April 5 2016
    : Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Passports Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Major-General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah said 80,000 of the 110,000 Bedouns have no hope of getting the Kuwaiti citizenship, reports Al-Anba daily. He noted these people must correct their status at a time tremendous efforts have been exerted by the Kuwaiti authorities to close this file once and for all.

    Al-Jarrah added there are 32,000 Bedouns who may obtain the Kuwaiti citizenship but not necessarily, particularly with regards to those who have security restrictions. He stressed it is not possible to grant the Kuwaiti citizenship to those who are known to have cooperated with the aggressors putting at risk the security and safety of the State of Kuwait. Al-Jarrah went on to say those who have corrected their status will be given the privilege to sponsor themselves. He also spoke about Comoros which has offered to step in and solve the problem of Bedoun.

    This is in addition to another country, he said, which he did not identify but is expected to be done soon. Al-Jarrah explained the initiative taken by these two countries to solve the problem of the Bedoun does not mean 80,000 Bedoun will be deported to Comoros or another State, but these two countries shall only issue IDs and passports for these people.

    Al-Jarrah stressed there must be some kind of solution to the problem because Kuwait will not accept any pressure from either the US or elsewhere to grant Kuwaiti nationality to undeserving people. He reiterated granting citizenship is an indisputable sovereign issue.

    Al-Jarrah added every Bedoun is fully aware of his/her origin, so people who hide their nationalities in the hope of getting the Kuwaiti nationality are mistaken because only people who deserve will be naturalized.

    Al-Jarrah affirmed that the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) was established to find a mechanism to solve this issue in public interest and not as understood or imagined by some — to naturalize the Bedoun.

    Major-General Al-Jarrah said the General Department for Citizenship and Travel Documents put control on the issuance of passports under Article (17) to prevent such documents being abused. However, he said these passports are issued to people who actually need them.

    Al-Jarrah also rubbished rumors which have spread recently that those who are affiliated to Hezbollah will be deported. He added these rumors are baseless. However, he added, those who violate the residence laws are being deported on a daily basis. Kuwait, he said, welcomes all who seek to live in the country in peace without getting involved in political issues and remain committed to the law.

  • MoI proposes issuing passports to bedoun for one-time travel abroad - Senior officials against the idea - ARAB TIMES

    KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: The Citizenship and Travel Documents Department affi liated to the Ministry of Interior is considering to put in place a new mechanism to issue travel documents or passports for bedoun for one-time travel to specifi c destinations, reports Al-Anba daily quoting security sources.

    The same sources said this comes following a decision to issue e-passports to citizens. The source added, the decision will help the bedoun to go overseas for medical treatment, study or perform umrah. According to some reliable sources, no coordination has been reached with some Arab and Asian countries to allow the bedoun holding such travel documents or passports to enter their countries since they are different from the e-passports.

    The source said the Interior Ministry and other senior offi cials are against the idea of issuing the bedoun the e-passports. However, the source said e-passports can still be issued to a limited category of bedoun such as those who are in dire need of travelling to Europe. The source added the e-passports will also be given for those bedoun who serve in the military and those are sent overseas for medical treatment at government expense.

  • Kuwait’s New Cabinet Takes Oath - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English

    The Cabinet comprises of the following ministers: Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Anas Nasser Al-Saleh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Hind Barrak Al-Sabeeh, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor as well as Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Yaser Abul, Minister of State for Housing Affairs and Minister of State for Utilities, Jamal Mansour Al-Harbi, the Minister of Health, Khaled Nasser Abdullah Al-Roudan, the Minister Commerce and Industry, Abdulrahman Abdulkareem Al-Mutawa’, the as Minister Public Works, Essam Abdulmohsen Al-Marzouq, Minister Electricity and Water as well as the Minister of Oil, Faleh Abdullah Al-Azeb, Minister Justice and the Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs, Mohammad Abdulatif Al-Fares, Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education, Mohammad Nasser Al-Jabri, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs as well as Minister of State for the Municipality.

  • Haaretz

    Absentee Voting Bill Designed to Reduce Influence of Arab Israelis, Meretz Leader Warns

    Knesset members from both sides of the aisle are collaborating on the bill, which would enable any citizen who is registered to vote and is in possession of the requisite form to vote at any Israeli embassy or consulate abroad. The coalition agreement of the current government includes support for such a bill. As a result, it is likely to have an automatic Knesset majority. The bill is also supported by at least some opposition lawmakers. Describing the bill as an “ostensibly limited proposal,” Galon warned opposition members who supported it that they were lending a hand to a “slippery slope that will ultimately legitimize giving the vote to Israelis living abroad.” She called on supporters of the bill from the opposition to renounce their support. “It’s inconceivable that people for whom Israel is not the center of their lives should be able to influence government policies without bearing the consequences,” she said. (Haaretz)

  • BDS movement targets Palestinian investors in West Bank mall

    According to an article published by the Israeli website Walla Jan. 15, Levy had announced his plan to build a shopping mall — which is currently under construction — to promote Israeli-Palestinian coexistence in Jerusalem by attracting Palestinian businessmen to buy or lease shops in the mall, Palestinian customers and Israelis living in nearby settlements. Levy’s plan sparked an angry reaction from many Palestinians.

    The mall is being built in the Qalandiya industrial area, Atarot, which lies north of Jerusalem, just meters from Faisal al-Husseini International Stadium, the home of the Palestinian national football team. This area is classified as Area C and the industrial zone is considered a settlement area. Palestinians living in Jerusalem as well as residents of Ramallah and the surrounding villages are allowed access to this area, as the mall is located at its entrance.

  • Are Twitter Bots on Yemen and Bahrain Hashtags linked to News Broadcaster Saudi 24? | Marc Owen Jones

    This morning, some fellow Tweeps alerted me to the use of similar bots on the #Yemen hashtag, so I did some preliminary tests. Sure enough, the same bots on the #Bahrain hashtag are using the Yemen hashtag to promote the idea of Iranian influence in Yemen, a common trope in Gulf politics. The accounts are indeed the same, and some have changed from Tweeting about Bahrain to tweeting about Yemen. Many still continue to tweet on the #Bahrain hashtag. The most common Tweets on the Yemen hashtag are;

    العوين:مجئ الخوميني هو بداية الشر و اشعال الحروب في المنطقة https://t.co/wkYWbGT3eG#الشيخ_عيسي_قاسم #ايران #Iran #حزب_الله #yemen #Iraq

    (translation: The appearance of Khomeini was the beginning of evil and the spread of wars in the region #Shaykh_Isa_Qasim, #Hezbollah, #Yemen, #Iraq, #Iran

    توجيهات خادم الحرمين بايصال رسالة المملكة للعالم كله ومنها برنامج الإمامة في الخارج https://t.co/QZif2VH3PP#ايران #Iran #حزب_الله #yemen (The custodian of the holy mosques sends a message to the whole world….)

    Of the 11,541 Tweets pulled from the Twitter API over an approximately 48 hour period, around 2,493 appear to be from bot accounts. In the sample, there were approximately 1172 individual bot accounts engaged in polluting the Yemen hashtag with the above tweets. You can see the spreadsheet data here. I have used the same methodology as in previous posts, but have not got into it here (happy to answer questions though)

    The role of Saudi24?
    What is interesting about virtually all the videos analysed on the #Bahrain and Yemen hashtag is that they contain links almost exclusively to the YouTube channel Saudi 24. Saudi 24 is a satellite channel that I am still trying to find more information on. Their Twitter account was set up in July 2012, before the automated Twitter activated seemed to begin. Their live link can be found here. Their website can be found here. The email address given on their Twitter bio is Info@saudi24.tv. They joined YouTube in January 2015, after many of the bot account had been created (On Youtube they have 12,501 subscribers and over 3,743,929 views ). This appears to be the Twitter account of the main presenter, Mohammad Rashid. Their rhetoric seems loosely aligned with state rhetoric. They are anti Islamic State, but antagonistic towards Iran, and sectarian towards the Shia. At the moment the link is speculative, but it does seem unusual that the bots should almost exclusively choose news clips from Saudi 24, when there are plenty to choose from that broadcast a particularly anti-Shia, anti-Iran, sectarian agenda.

  • Suicide Bombings Hit 3 Cities in Saudi Arabia, One Near a Holy Site - The New York Times

    Kuwait also said it had arrested and repatriated a Kuwaiti man who had joined the Islamic State in Syria, as well as his mother and son. The man had studied petroleum engineering in Britain and had moved to Syria to work in oil production for the Islamic State after his older brother was killed while fighting for the group in Iraq, the report said.

  • Revenue may be weak spot in Saudi economic reform plan

    An old article but still interesting on the state of Saudi economy

    The price of five-year Saudi credit default swaps suggests that financial markets think that’s a big ask. It has risen to 155 points in the past two weeks from 145, implying a 10 percent chance of a sovereign default over the next five years, making Saudi Arabia a riskier proposition than the Philippines or Thailand.

  • Home Page - Gulf in the Media

    Qatar’s investment in the UK has reached £30bn (nearly QR150bn), which is expected to grow further in the near future as the country remains well positioned to weather the economic challenges it faces, David Cameron (pictured), the British Prime Minister said.

    Cameron told the global publishing, research and consultancy firm Oxford Business Group (OBG) that he was confident economic cooperation between Qatar and the UK could continue to grow.

  • Home Page - Gulf in the Media

    Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, speaking at a symposium hosted by the French Diplomatic Academy, said Saudi Arabia and France shared views on how to deal with problems in the Middle East, including Syria, Yemen and Libya.

    “There is a sectarian problem in our region created and encouraged by Iran after 1979. After the Iranian revolution a revolutionary system was established in Iran that wanted to act as if it were responsible for every Shiite in the world, and as a result we have seen increasing sectarianism in the Middle East. Then the Hezbollah was founded in Lebanon ... Iran is behind the unrest in the region,” he said.