King Waivers “Citizenship Revocation” Right to Cabinet, Bahrainis to be Stripped of their Nationalities in these Cases
2019-07-02 - 7:49 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The official gazette published on June 27, 2019 a bill decree to amend some of the citizenship revocation laws for the year 1963, which includes amendments on the revocation of the citizenships of Bahrainis.
Although Bahrain is under human rights pressure due to the use of citizenship revocation punishment against political dissidents, the royal amendment didn't include articles that curb the use of this penalty.
On the contrary, the king broadened in the first article of the amendment the cases of stripping nationalities from Bahrainis. After citizenships were revoked in 3 cases according to law 1963, they have amounted to 11 now.
The main article of the law stipulates the denaturalization of a citizen "If he enters military service of a foreign country and keeps on serving despite an order issued by His Majesty the Governor ordering him to leave such service; if he helps or engages in the service of an enemy country; or if he causes harm to the security of the State."
Besides these cases, the king added an article allowing the denaturalizing of a Bahraini if he violates loyalty to his country as well as 7 cases of the Law on the Protection of the Community Against Terrorist Acts which are as follows:
- If he causes a disaster, damages or defects a means or facilities of public land and water transportation for a terrorist purpose.
- If he establishes an organization or branch of an organization whose purpose is to disrupt the provisions of the Constitution or laws.
- If he forces someone to join a group whose aim is to disrupt the provisions of the Constitution or laws.
- If he trains someone on the use of weapons.
- If he makes use of managing a legal organization to call to commit any crime mentioned in the laws of Protection of the Community Against Terrorist Acts.
- If he deals with an organization based outside the country or collaborates with it to harm Bahrain.
- If he incites someone to commit a terrorist act, even if it has no repercussions.
According to law 1963, the king had the right to revoke citizenships. However, based on the new amendment, the decision will be in the hands of the Cabinet and a proposal made by the Interior Minister.
The amendment also abolished article 24 (repeated) from the Law on the Protection of the Community Against Terrorist Acts, stipulating that "in addition to the punishment, nationality is stripped from the defendant in crimes stipulated in articles from (5) to (9), (12) and (17) of this law. The citizenship revocation sentence is only implemented after the king's approval".
Based on this amendment, the Bahraini judiciary won't have the right to use the citizenship revocation punishment, only the Cabinet will have the right to do so.
The Bahraini judiciary has vastly used citizenship revocation. It revoked the citizenships of about a thousand Bahrainis for taking part in protests against the ruling family, before the king restored half of them in mid-April.