Rights organisation urges Saudi Arabia to ‘stop the delay’ of resolving stateless people’s problem

Rights organisation urges Saudi Arabia to ‘stop the delay’ of resolving stateless people’s problem March 14, 2019 at 1:47 am | Published in: News , Saudi Arabia The child of a stateless family stands at their camp in an impoverished neighborhood of the Saudi capital Riyadh on July 10, 2013. The stateless nomads, known as bidoons, were originally traveling between Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan. The bidoons have long been marginalised and are not intitled to state-provided services and benefits. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE /Getty Images March 14, 2019 at 1:47 am The Francophone Association for Human Rights has called on Saudi Arabia to recognise stateless inhabitants, referred to in Arabic as “Bidoon,” as legal citizens with full rights, the non-profit organisation said in a statement on Wednesday.

The organisation, also known as AFDH, urged the Saudi authorities to “stop the delay and procrastination” in resolving Bidoon’s decades-long problem.

The Middle Eastern country has at least 70,000 stateless inhabitants that the authorities do not recognise as citizens or legal residents entitled to rights. They come primarily from the tribes of Qahtan Hamdan, Bani Khalid, and Anza, AFDH noted.

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The statement included a list of requests that the organisation urged Saudi Arabia to implement. The requests include creating “a rapid and transparent mechanism to review” stateless inhabitants’ citizenship applications, as well as allowing “judicial review of naturalisation decisions” to “protect applicants from procedural errors or abuse of confidentiality rules while reviewing these applications.”

The organisation stressed that importance of ensuring that Bidoons be granted full legal, economic, and social rights such as education; work; and the right to be granted civil documents like birth certificates, marriage deeds, and passports.

As an “intermediate solution,” Bidoons may be granted temporary residence permits during the processing of their citizenship applications, according to AFDH.

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