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Salam Issues Report Entitled “Citizens without Citizenships”: 807 Stripped of Nationalities between 2015 and 2019

2019-03-06 - 10:42 p

Bahrain Mirror: Salam for Democracy and Human Rights issued a report about the issue of stripping Bahraini citizens of their nationalities as punishment against the political stances they take. This retaliation has increased over the past 4 years, with Bahrainis, whose citizenships were revoked, reaching 807.

The report entitled "Citizens without Citizenships" listed the cases of citizenship revocation and examined the laws and regulations related to Bahraini citizenship, as well as their amendments, which came contrary to international bills.

The report said in the introduction that citizenship for a man today is the air he breathes to live peacefully.

It also stated that the decrees revoked the citizenships of 77 Bahrainis, the first of which was on January 29, 2015, and the latest of which was the decree withdrawing the nationality of Sheikh Isa Qassim in June 2016.

The nationalities of 730 Bahraini citizens were revoked by judicial rulings, following a 2013 decree stipulating that a criminal court judge must order revoking the nationality along with penalties stated in seven articles. However, there is no execution of the sentence until after the consent of the country's king.

All of these citizens were tried over political charges, which were adapted by the judiciary as terrorism related, and they are waiting for the king's approval on the judicial verdicts, to be final, which would result in the disruption of the legal status of those stripped of their nationalities, affecting their children and others, according to the report.

Salam said that the amendments to the nationality law had become broader in the matter of their revocation and facilitated the loss nationalities, yet also had facilitated the process of naturalization.

In one of the amendments, the law gave the Minister of Interior the power to withdraw and revoke Bahraini nationality in accordance with an executive regulation issued by the same minister, and the implementing regulations were promulgated on July 24, 2016.

As for the revocation of citizenship of Shiite spiritual leader of Bahrain, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, the report said that the Ministry of Interior's statement on the King's nationality Decree mentioned the reasons for the decision were the political stances taken by Ayatollah Qassim, both regarding the elections and the provisions of the family law, including a case that was pending before the courts while the ruling hadn't been issued yet.

The organization considered the King's decree to revoke Sheikh Qassim's nationality was issued on grounds of personal freedom and fundamental human rights, which prompted the United Nations to condemn this unjustified and unlawful act. Besides, United Nations experts also called on the Government of Bahrain to rectify the human rights situation, including the violation of revoking Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim's nationality without legal justification.

The report said that these violations had caused the children of those stripped of their nationalities (newborns) to lose their right to citizenship, denying them of free treatment, free education, the right of movement, travel and other basic rights, which increased the violations and threats against Bahraini families, and put them at risk.

Salam demanded the Government of Bahrain to repeal decrees and decisions of revoking nationality and abide by the International bill and conventions of the United Nations in regulating the right to nationality, and to restore the nationality of all those who have been rendered stateless, restore their civil and financial rights and compensate those affected retroactively from the date of the revocation of nationalities.

It also recommended the international community to urge the Government of Bahrain to abide by the International Bill of Human Rights, reinstate citizens whose citizenships were revoked, and neither use such measures as punishment nor target opponents of government. Salam also urged the government not to deprive children of the right to citizenship and to quickly correct the situation of those who were rendered stateless, as well as the abolition of the penalty of revocation of nationality either by decrees or judicial rulings.

Arabic Version