UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed deep concern Thursday over a Bahraini court’s decision to revoke the citizenship of 138 people convicted and sentenced in a terrorism-related case to three years’ imprisonment and life imprisonment.
The convicts belong to a group of 169 people who were tried on charges of “forming a terrorist group” and establishing ties with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
The ruling, the Bahrain Center for Rights and Democracy (BCRC), said on Tuesday it was the largest number of people whose nationality had been revoked during a single trial since the start of prosecutions against dissidents following the protest movement in 2011.
“Tuesday’s trials are of grave concern about the application of the law, especially during this collective trial, which apparently did not seem to have the procedural guarantees necessary to organize a fair trial,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
According to information obtained by the United Nations, 17 of the convicts were minors, between the ages of 15 and 17.
The abolition of nationality should not be arbitrary and should not be motivated by “discriminatory motives such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality or social origin.”
Bachelet also expressed concern over reports of torture or ill-treatment of some of the accused.
The Bahrain Center for Rights and Democracy noted that the total number of persons deprived of their nationality has reached 990 since 2012, including 180 in 2019 alone (including convicts Tuesday).
Bahrain has been plagued by interruptions since the protests were suppressed in 2011. Authorities deny any discrimination and say they face violence groups linked to Iran, which in turn deny Manama’s accusations.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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