The Al Khalifah regime in Bahrain has stripped more than 800 nationals of their citizenship during the past six years, a human rights group says.
According to a new report by the UK-based NGO, SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights, cited by the Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website on Saturday, Manama has revoked the citizenship of 804 nationals from the beginning of 2012, a year after widespread anti-regime rallies began to rock the small Persian Gulf island country.
SALAM, which tries to preserve universal principles of dignity and respect by shielding democracy and human rights, detailed by the year the number of revocations per year: “2018 (298) – 2017 (156) – 2016 (90) – 2015 (208) – 2014 (21) – 2013 (0) – 2012 (31).”
It also said that the highly controversial move of revoking citizenship with an increasing rate is taken with the growing use of the judiciary for punishment despite international convictions.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Appeals stripped 25 Bahraini activists of their citizenship, accusing them of involvement in a purported terror attack.
Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country in mid-February 2011.
They are demanding that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established.
Manama has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any sign of dissent. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to assist Bahrain in its crackdown.
Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown.
On March 5, 2017, Bahrain’s parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.
Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.