ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Bahrain’s government since Jan. 29, 2018 has stripped the citizenship and deported eight people to Iraq after they were convicted of damaging the country’s security, Human Rights Watch (HRW) revealed on Sunday.
The deportations came after an appeal court upheld a 2012 ruling that revoked the citizenship of nine Bahraini nationals for “damaging state security,” and called for them to be deported. Bahrain’s authorities have stripped 578 nationals of their citizenship since 2012, according to HRW. On Jan. 31, Fourth High Criminal Court revoked the citizenship of 47 people on terrorism-related charges. The same court stripped 25 more nationals on Feb. 1.
“Bahrain should immediately put an end to these arbitrary deportations and restore citizenship to those who have been left stateless or whose citizenship was revoked unfairly or arbitrarily,” HRW said. “Bahraini authorities have dropped all pretense of pluralism and tolerance for dissent and are clearly stripping away the citizenships of people whom they find undesirable,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at HRW.
Authorities deported four of them to Najaf Province in Iraq- two brothers, Ibrahim and Ismail Darwish on Jan. 29, and Adnan Kamal and Habib Darwish on Jan. 30, a human right activist in Bahrain told HRW. Bahrain also deported another four nationals on Feb. 1: Abdulnabi al-Mosawi; his wife, Maryam Ibrahim; and his two brothers, Mohammed al-Mosawi and Abdulamir al-Mosawi, human rights activists told HRW.
“By slapping human rights defenders, political activists, journalists, and religious scholars with arbitrary citizenship revocations and deportations, Bahraini authorities are reducing courts to rubber-stamps on their quest to stifle dissent completely,” Whitson said.