segunda-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2017

Trump's Muslim ban is old news in Kuwait

Kuwait first placed a blanket ban on new visas for Syrians in 2011, but those already in the country were allowed to remain. (AFP/File)
US President Donald Trump's Muslim ban is nothing new to the rulers of Kuwait.

Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghans have not been able to obtain visit, tourism or trade visas to Kuwait since 2011, in a move which seemingly pre-empted US restrictions on seven Muslim-majoritycountries.

Passport holders from the countries are not allowed to enter the Gulf state while the blanket ban is in place, and have been told not to apply to visas.

Kuwaiti sources originally told local media that the restrictions were in place due to the "instability" in the five countries and that the ban would be lifted once the security situation improves.

The long-held policy looks unlikely to change any time soon, bringing into question what officials really mean when they suggest a "temporary ban".

Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to witness violence from extremist groups, while Syria and Iraq are embroiled in internal conflicts.

Although mainly peaceful, tensions between Iran and the Gulf have ratcheted up over the past year, with the GCC powers accusing Tehran of attempting to destabilise the region.

Kuwait is concerned about the threat of extremist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, and both militant organisations have offshoots in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But the ban on citizens from fellow Muslim-majority nations has failed to prevent the Gulf state from being targeted in a number of militant attacks over the past two years - including the bombing of a Shia mosque in 2015 which left 27 Kuwaitis dead.

Kuwait responded by arresting dozens of suspected IS sympathisers and rolling out a mandatary DNA testing programme and database for the Gulf state's four million population.

Kuwait was the only country in the world to officially bar entry to Syrians, until the US named Syria among seven countries whose citizens were banned from entry.

Kuwait has issued a number of laws targeting foreigners in recent years, making it one of the most unfriendly Gulf states towards expatriates.

In 2015, Kuwait was named as the worst place in the world for expatriates in a 64-country InterNations survey.

Meanwhile, Trump's Muslim ban has been met with widespread outrage since it was signed on Friday, although most Gulf states have largely remained quiet on the issue.

Dubai security chief Dhahi Khalfan outraged Syrians and other nationalities included in the ban when he backed Trump's decision, and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the ban was "not Islamophobic".

This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the ban came into force in 2011 and was not a reaction to Donald Trump's recent executive order.

TheNewArab, 1 February, 2017
Colaboração: Vanderlei dos Santos Rocha

Leia também:
The United Arab Emirates' top diplomat has defended US President Donald Trump's travel ban citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said on Wednesday that Trump's ban was not anti-Islam and that the US was within its rights to take what he said was a "sovereign decision" concerning immigration.

Nahyan, whose country is a close ally of Washington, said it was "wrong to say" that the decision by the new US administration was "directed against a particular religion".

3 comentários:

  1. Kuwait times today

    KUWAIT: A ban on visa issuance for citizens of six countries could be lifted next month after Kuwait announces new rules to regulate this process, a local daily reported yesterday, quoting a Migration General Department official. “Work is currently ongoing to put together the controls and mechanisms when allowing citizens of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen to apply for an entrance or dependency visa”, said the source who spoke to Al-Rai on the condition of anonymity.

    The source did not provide details about the new mechanisms which are expected to be announced next October. “This is a humanitarian step from Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al- Khalid Al-Sabah given the large number of residents hoping to bring relatives to Kuwait”, he explained.

    The ban was imposed in 2011 for “security reasons” stemming from an unstable political situation in some of the aforementioned states. In other news, Al-Rai also reported that the immigration departments across Kuwait adopted new measures to deal with dependency visas for housewives and children over the age of 21.

    Sources indicated that visas issued before Sept 3, 2011 will not be renewed unless the applicant is fingerprinted and undergoes a new medical test. “The measure is precautionary since it allows the state to determine the security and health status of housewives and young adults who can remain under their fathers’ dependency until they turn 24- years-old,” the sources said.

    According to the source, the new mechanism allows the Interior Ministry to reveal suspects with criminal records or cases infected with infectious diseases. “This move will come into effect after the Interior Ministry finishes connecting its database with the Health Ministry’s database to prevent manipulation”, the source added.

    Em torno de 6 países estavam banidos desde 2011
    O governo do Kuwait promete rever essas políticas nos próximos meses.

    1. Obrigado.
      O artigo é de 4 de setembro de 2013.
      Portanto, o título do post está corretíssimo; e está exposta a mentira do ministro revelada no comentário das 18h00.


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