The Iran Project

Bahrain to revoke passports of nationals who visit Qatar

An anti-government protester holds up a Bahraini passport as he protests against nationalisation, in front of the Bahrain Immigration Directorate in Manama, in this file picture taken March 9, 2011. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Files

FNA- Bahrain’s Interior Ministry has issued an order according to which the passport of any Bahraini citizen who travels to Qatar, resides there, or even crosses Qatari soil en route to other countries, would be revoked.

Bahrain’s Lualua television network reported on Tuesday that Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifah had issued the order based on a June 5 decision by the cabinet.

According to the report, the violators of the ban would also be banned from applying for a new passport.

On June 5, Bahrain, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the country of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region. They also halted sea, air, and land traffic with Qatar, effectively imposing a blockade on the country.

After the severance of ties, Bahrain banned its citizens from traveling to Qatar. Meanwhile, Qatari citizens were also prohibited from entering Bahrain, and all Qataris living in Bahrain were given 14 days to leave.

The Bahraini regime also announced that it would jail anyone expressing sympathy for Qatar over the sanctions imposed on the country by the Saudi-led bloc of countries.

“Any expression of sympathy with the government of Qatar or opposition to the measures taken by the government of Bahrain, whether through social media, Twitter, or any other form of communication, is a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine,” the Interior Ministry’s statement said on June 8.

Bahrain’s decision came just a day after the Emirates adopted a similar measure and warned that sympathy towards Qatar could land individuals in jail for up to 15 years.

Both Saudi Arabia and the Emirates have sent troops to Bahrain to help the Manama regime repress the popular uprising there.

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