Bahrain Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Bahrain revokes nationality of over 410 dissidents: Rights group

Press TV – A non-governmental rights group says Bahraini officials have revoked the citizenship of hundreds of people after convicting them of alleged terror charges as the ruling Al Khalifah regime continues with its heavy-handed crackdown on political dissent in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

Head of Religious Freedom Unit at Salam for Democracy and Human Rights, Abbas Shobar, said on Tuesday that the Manama regime had stripped more than 410 people, including 15 Shia clerics, of their nationality.

Shobar noted that Bahraini officials made use of nationality revocation to punish anti-regime campaigners, among them Shia clerics, who have stood up to renew public demands pursued by the nation since a popular uprising began in the country.

He stressed that the Bahraini regime’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists is a clear violation of international law, and a flagrant infringement on the right to citizenship as guaranteed by the Bahrain Constitution.

The Bahraini human rights activist further expressed solidarity with Sheikh Abdullah al-Daqaq, a representative of distinguished Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, denouncing the Bahraini regime’s recent decision to revoke the clergyman’s nationality.

“These sentences are grossly unfair, especially as we saw how the regime did not bring serious criminal charges against former officer and torturer, Adel Felifel, whom the Supreme Court of Appeal had found guilty of possession of firearms and ammunition without authorization.

“The Ministry of the Interior sentenced him only to 3 years in prison instead of 10. This is a blatant example of inequality before the law,” Shobar highlighted.

Anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the kingdom on February 14, 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.

On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or been arrested as a result of Bahrain’s crackdown.