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100 Americans trapped in Kuwait over contract snub

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An estimated 100 U.S. citizens are trapped on U.S. military bases in Kuwait, unable to leave the post else face arrest — the victims of a Kuwaiti prime minister's sister-in-law who felt snubbed when a recent contract wrapped without renewal.

In February, the United States' language translation contractor, Global Linguist Solutions, wrapped up business with its Kuwaiti subcontractor, Al Shora. Al Shora, which is operated by the Kuwaiti prime minister's sister-in-law, then denied the transfer of visas for GLS's employees to a different subcontractor — and further reported to authorities that the workers had violated the terms of their visas by skipping work, Newser reported.

Kuwait authorities then issued arrest warrants for the GLS workers, about 100-strong. And now they're stuck on U.S. military bases. Kuwaiti officials also blacklisted the GLS employees for deportation, Stars and Stripes reported. And GLS executives have banned workers from leaving the military posts — since May 31, Newser said.

"If we leave the base, we could be arrested by the Kuwaiti authorities, jailed or deported," said one American trapped on Camp Buehring, in the Newser report. "We cannot see the doctor even for an emergency. ... A lot of us here need to go home. Our families are worried about us. We need to see our kids."

Three who violated the order to stay on post were caught by Kuwaiti authorities earlier this month. Two were jailed; one, deported, Newser said. The Kuwaiti government, meanwhile, is denying knowledge of what's going on.

"It comes back to us being fugitives," a trapped GLS translator said, in Stars and Stripes. "That's our status in the state of Kuwait."

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