Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bahrain: Don’t Arbitrarily Revoke Citizenship

Thirty-One Deprived of Nationality Without Due Process, Leaving Many Stateless 
"(Beirut)Bahraini authorities should rescind their announced decision to strip citizenship from 31 people for allegedly damaging the country’s security. The people affected included opposition political activists, lawyers, and rights activists. The order was imposed without due process of law and will leave the majority of the people affected stateless.
On November 6, 2012, the Interior Ministry issued a statement revoking the citizenship of the 31 people under article 10(3) of the Bahraini Citizenship Act of 1963 because they were “damaging the security of the state.” Article 10 provides that “the ruler” has the authority to revoke a person’s citizenship.

“The Bahrain government’s summary decision to deprive 31 people of citizenship seems to completely disregard their basic rights,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “There is no justification for equating political dissent with damaging Bahrain’s security.”

Revoking citizenship without due process violates the rights of Bahraini nationals under international law, Human Rights Watch said. Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is considered reflective of customary international law, states that, “Everyone has the right to a nationality” and, “No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.” Unlawful deportations may also violate other rights......"

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