Citizenship of 732 Bahrainis Revoked Since 2012

SHAFAQNA-

he Campaign for Peace and Democracy (CPD) said as many as 732 Bahrainis have been stripped of their nationality over the past 6 years.

According to Al-Laulau website, the New York-based CPD said the first ruling that revoked a Bahraini’s citizenship was issued by a court in the Persian Gulf island country in November 2012.

But the trend soon became a source of concern for human rights activists as more and more such verdicts were issued against religious figures, parliament members, lawyers and media persons, it said.

In the most recent case, a court in Bahrain revoked the citizenship of 115 people and gave 53 of them life sentences on terrorism charges on May 15.

In a statement, prosecutors said 138 people had been accused of “being behind a number of explosions, possession of explosives and training in the use of weapons and explosives and the attempted murder of police officers”.

Fifty-three defendants were sentenced to life terms and 62 others to between three and 15 years in prison, while 23 were acquitted, they said.

Western-backed Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based, has been cracking down on Shia opposition groups and rights activists since they started their peaceful protests in 2011, a crackdown that has been condemned internationally.

Authorities in Manama have accused scores of people of militancy in a series of mass trials, claiming the defendants are backed by Iran. Rights activists say they have included mostly peaceful opposition members.

Bahraini activists say members of the Shia majority are subjected to systematic political and economic discrimination by the government, a charge the authorities deny.

“This outrageously harsh sentence is setting a new level of injustice in Bahrain. Rendering people stateless in a mass trial is a clear violation of international law. This is the worst verdict on the record”, said Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, an activist with London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy.

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