SHAFAQNA – The one-year-old daughter of Sheikh Ali Salman, the secretary general of Bahrain’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, has been deprived of Bahraini citizenship on political grounds, Salman’s wife announced.
“Today, my daughter, Sareh, became one-year old while she is away from his father and deprived of the citizenship right due to the imprisonment of her father,” Sheikh Salman’s wife said on her twitter account.
She emphasized that the situation of her daughter is not unique, adding that many children in the Persian Gulf island country have been deprived of citizenship rights for political reasons.
Sheikh Salman was detained in December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty and collaboration with foreign powers.
He has strongly denied the charges, emphasizing that he has been seeking reforms in Bahrain through peaceful means.
However, a four-year jail sentence was handed to Sheikh Salman on June 16.
Since 1980s, the ruling Al Khalifa regime has been trying to change the Kingdom’s demographic structure which largely consists of Shiites.
Measures have also been taken by Manama to limit the electoral power of the Shiite majority including granting Bahraini citizenship and the right to vote to 20,000 tribal Sunnis from Saudi Arabia, without having to fulfill the criteria of citizenship.
In November 2014, the Bahrain regime threatened to take away Bahraini nationality from those who refuse to vote in that year’s parliamentary elections, which were boycotted by opposition groups.
The Al Khalifa regime is pressing ahead with its crackdown on opposition, after it arrested Sheikh Salman on December 27, 2014.