Bahrain’s human rights crisis to further aggravate, warns rights group

A Bahraini rights group has condemned the revocation of the citizenship of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Daqaq’s wife and her subsequent deportation from the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, stressing that the measure indicates that the Manama regime’s worsening rights record is damaging.

Safa al-Khawaja, a member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR), said Bahraini regime authorities make use of the citizenship revocation to punish the anti-regime campaigner and stop her activities, noting that such a practice contravenes all principles of international law, and is a flagrant violation of human rights, Arabic-language Lualua television network reported.

She added that the right to citizenship is recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Khawaja further highlighted that Bahraini authorities are not entitled to revoke the citizenship of its nationals except through a judicial and constitutional reference, stating that the revocation of the citizenship of Sheikh al-Daqaq’s wife is excess and violates the Bahraini nationality law.

The BCHR member went on to say that the decision against Sheikh al-Daqaq’s wife has no justification, because it does not prove that she poses any threat to Bahrain’s national security.

On April 2, a Bahraini court revoked the citizenship of Sheikh al-Daqaq, a representative of distinguished Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, and sentenced him to 10 years in jail.

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 dynasty 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, 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.

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