Bahraini Authorities to Deport Ettifaq Football Player Mahmoud Khawori to Lebanon in Coming Days
2016-06-09 - 11:52 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) stated on Wednesday (June 8, 2016) that the family of Mahmoud Khawori, a football player who plays for the Ettifaq Club, who has been detained since more than two years, said that the authorities want to deport him to Lebanon in the coming days.
The authorities has been detaining Mahmoud Khawori since April 29, 2013 after he was accused of taking part in the protests demanding democratic reform in Bahrain. The court sentenced him to one year in prison. He was supposed to be released in April 2014. His family; however, was surprised to learn that Khawori was transferred to a detention center at the immigration and passports directorate in the Bahraini capital Manama, where he has been held since 26 months ago.
The authorities claim that they took this measure against Khawori because he doesn't have a Bahraini passport "although he was born in Bahrain and has never left the country" according to a statement issued by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.
BCHR further stated that "Mahmoud Khawori is the third son to a Bahraini mother and father, who have been residing in Bahrain since over 50 years, yet holds an Iranian passport. Mahmoud was born in Bahrain and lived there along with his siblings. He even studied in Bahraini official schools and has never left Bahrain. Khawori is also an official player in the Bahraini Ettifaq football team."
After following up with the directorate of immigration and passports, the latter asked the family to provide papers from the Iranian Embassy proving that Khawori holds the Iranian nationality. The Embassy; however, refused to grant the family any documents, considering that he is a Bahraini citizen and that the case is a pure Bahraini one and that this citizen is not considered Iranian because he was born in Bahrain, lived there, and has never visited Iran.
BCHR xplained that the Bahraini government deprives many Bahrainis who are born to Bahraini mothers, of Iranian origin or who belong to the Shiite sect, of the Bahraini nationality.
The rights center stressed that Khawori and other citizens facing similar cases are being oppressed and that this punishment is unjustified. Thus, the government is giving Khawori only two options; to either be deported or spend his life in prison.
BCHR demanded the authorities to unconditionally and immediately release Mahmoud Khawori, compensate him for the illegal and arbitrary imprisonment as well as grant him the Bahraini nationality, as it's his legitimate right since he was born in Bahrain, lived there and is born to a Bahraini father.
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