Bahrain: Politically Motivated 3-Month Imprisonment May Cost One's Housing Unit

2022-12-10 - 6:13 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): In a public session held by the Bahrain's Shura Council 7 years ago (December 27, 2015), Fatima Al Kooheji submitted, during a public discussion about a housing law, a proposal to withdraw from any family their housing unit in the event that the head of the family's nationality is revoked. "If we revoke the nationality of the head of the family yet leave his family as if the father did nothing... that's not acceptable."

About a year after Al-Kooheji's reprehensible speech, specifically on December 27, 2016, the family of Sheikh Abdul-Jalil Al-Meqdad spoke out for the first time to the media about their ordeal, saying that the Ministry of Housing has been delaying handing over the housing unit to them for nearly two years, although a proposal to withdraw housing units has not been officially passed, also noting that Sheikh Al-Meqdad wasn't been stripped of his nationality to begin with.

At this point, the threads of the government's approach began to unravel little by little. It appears that some party is attempting to punish government opponents by robbing them of their remaining rights in this country, and this time it seems that someone seriously decided to deny pro-opposition citizens housing services.

On February 28, 2019, the Minister of Housing, Basem Al-Hamr, issued Decision No. 90 of 2019, amending a number of articles of Decision No. 909 of 2015 regarding the housing system, in which it legalized for the first time punishing political opponents, as Article 49 of the decision stipulates that the Ministry has the right to stop the disbursement of subsidies to the "social housing" program in several cases, one of which is in the event of withdrawal or revocation of citizenship.

Although this restriction was specifically related to the "social housing" project, it was another indication of the government's intention to inflict the greatest possible harm on opponents, and punish them for their opinions by denying them housing services.

On October 9, 2022, the "Naizak" account on Instagram published documents showing the Ministry of Interior's interference in housing services, and that the ministry was sending orders to the Ministry of Housing to refrain from providing housing services to a number of citizens due to "security reasons".

The confidential correspondence revealed by the account showed that these "security reasons" were being used against citizens who were arrested but later acquitted by the court. However, the Ministry of Interior decided that such a citizen, although not convicted, did not deserve to benefit from any housing service.

These correspondences came in conjunction with information verified by Bahrain Mirror about two Bahraini citizens, one of whom was sentenced to 6 months in prison, and the other 3 months in politically-motivated cases. The two talked about their experiences with the Ministry of Housing, which canceled their housing applications without warning and without any legal justification.

One of the citizens, a prominent figure in society, says that he went to the Ministry of Housing, and spoke to at least two officials, who reported the cancellation of his application, but they could not provide any reason or justification for this step. He further states that he was not provided with official documents indicating the cancellation of his housing application. Meanwhile, Minister Amna Al-Rumaihi avoids receiving him to hear his complaints.

The housing situation that citizens are suffering from is a time bomb waiting to explode, and it is a legal and constitutional violation that has no justification in any shape or form, but when has this ruling family run the country in the spirit of law?

What is happening is a continuous and relentless war against the indigenous people of the country, as the ruling family has decided to eliminate this segment of the population that represents the majority by destroying education opportunities through discrimination in the distribution of scholarships and causing impoverishment by preventing employment in government agencies and large private companies, and by also denying public services such as health and housing. However, when in history has a people yielded to the tyranny of this dictator or that!

Arabic Version