First Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al- Khalid has decided to suspend the issuance of Article 17 passports for bedoun for an indefinite period, except in rare cases such as overseas treatment at the expense of the State, reports Al-Qabas daily.
According to security sources, the decision came after the arrest of some bedoun who are suspected of involvement in the suicide bombing at the Imam Sadiq Mosque. The sources pointed Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship and Travel Documents, Major-General Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah has issued orders to close the Article 17 section until further notice and to transfer the employees working at this department to other places within the ministry.
This step was taken after several of the bedoun were involved in shooting incidents, drugs and thefts. The sources pointed out that the decision to close the department that issues Article 17 passports is temporary to put in place a new mechanism which will take at least two months, especially since there are those who have used these passports to travel and participate in civil wars and Jihad in Syria and Iraq.
The sources concluded saying the official will introduce new arrangements with the Central Agency to address the situation of illegal residents or the so-called stateless people.