Human Rights Watch says Kuwait has stripped citizenship from 33 people this year, including at least three who were vocal critics of the government.

The New York-based rights group says Kuwait announced a third batch of 18 people who were stripped of their nationality on Sep. 29. On Sunday it called on Kuwaiti authorities to ensure that those who lose their citizenship have the right to an independent review of the ruling.

In several cases, the decision was made by the Cabinet and not by court order.

Among the most high-profile Kuwaitis to lose their nationality this year are Ahmad al-Shemmeri, owner of the independent Al-Youm television station and Alam Al-Yawm newspaper, conservative cleric Nabil al-Awadi and leading opposition figure Musallam al-Barrack's spokesman, Saad al-Ajmi.