BAHRAIN: 31 Activists Stripped of their Citizenships

AHMED ALKHUZAM WRITES – This time last year, the Bahraini government decided to strip 31 opposition members of their citizenship. This time last week, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and Bahith Research Center jointly held a meeting in Beirut to help keep the issue of their fates alive.

“The excuse is that they committed a crime against national security, but again there is no basis for that claim,” noted Mohammad Issa AlTajer, a human rights lawyer. Further, the forum emphasized that what happened was a violation of international law. All 31 victims are Shi’as, and two are former members of parliament who ran under the main opposition party, AlWefaq.

The organizers are urging the Bahrain government to reinstate the revoked citizenships, an act that was originally intended by the government to crush opposition demands. How can the revocations of these citizenship be justified? What makes any member of the Bahrain government more of a citizen than anyone in the opposition? The latter is showing an active role in fixing the country’s problems, while the former is making crushing those efforts its priority.

There’s a huge difference between building a nation and immortalizing a regime. The political structure will evolve and the extreme measures taken to stifle this inevitable change, may instead, speed up the process. Extreme measures, such as what is seen in this instance, show this regime’s insecurity in regards to its popularity.

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