Bahrain Deporting 8 After Revoking their Citizenship

**Correction: This post originally suggested that the individuals were deported at once; in fact, the deportations occurred over several days following the initial order. Additionally, the government deported eight total individuals, with reports that another denaturalized individual left the country ahead of the order.

29 January 2018 – Bahraini authorities have issued deportation orders to eight individuals after revoking their citizenship. Another individual reportedly left Bahrain ahead of the deportation order. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) strongly condemns these deportations and the Bahraini government’s continued use of arbitrary denaturalizations.

The eight individuals – Abdulnabi Almosawi, his wife Maryam Ebrahim, his brothers Mohammed Almosawi and Abdulamir Almosawi, Ebrahim Khalil Darwish, Ismaeel Khalil Darwish, Habib Darwish, and Adnan Kamal – were among 31 people who had their citizenship revoked by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) on 6 November 2012. In a statement published on 7 November 2012, the Interior Ministry said it had revoked their citizenship under Article 10 (3) of the Bahraini Citizenship Act of 1963 claiming they were “damaging the security of the state.” Article 10 provides the government with the authority to revoke a person’s citizenship while bypassing due process mechanisms. Under this process, the defendant does not have clear recourse to appeal the decision.

The deportation orders come amid the Bahraini government’s increasing use of citizenship revocation as a means of reprisal. Since 2012, the government has revoked the citizenship of over 500 Bahraini nationals, many because of political charges related to their exercise of the rights to free expression, free assembly, free association, and free religion. Among those subjected to politically motivated citizenship revocations is human rights lawyer Taimoor Karimi; Shia religious leader Sheikh Isa Qassim; former member of the National Assembly Jawad Fairooz; human rights defender Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei; and ADHRB’s Executive Director Husain Abdulla.

“These eight cases mark one of the largest groups of deportations of arbitrarily denaturalized Bahrainis, and indicate a distinct escalation by the Bahraini government. Last year saw the second highest number of Bahrainis denaturalized. Now, with a sudden increase of deportations, dozens of other stateless Bahrainis are further at risk,” said Husain Abdulla, the Executive Director of ADHRB. “The international community must make it clear to the Bahraini authorities that they must end this practice and reinstate those who have had their citizenship unfairly revoked.”

ADHRB calls on the Bahraini government to abide by international standards regarding nationality and statelessness, and to amend national laws and practices to end arbitrary revocation of citizenship. We further call on the government to halt the practice of administrative denaturalizations for exercising basic human rights and to reinstate the citizenship of those targeted over their peaceful dissent and activism.