Bahrain king overrules citizenship withdrawal from hundreds of convicted prisoners

King Hamad has requested that authorities take into account 'the nature of crimes committed'

The King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Reuters 
The King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Reuters 

The citizenship of more than 500 people in Bahrain has been restored after an intervention by King Hamad.

The leader issued an order on Sunday evening to reinstate the citizenship of 551 prisoners whose nationality had been revoked by the courts.

King Hamad, who can reverse judicial decisions, requested that the authorities take "the nature of crimes committed" into account.

"The study and evaluation of the situation of convicts should be based on criteria pertaining to the seriousness, impact and consequences of the crimes, as well as on the danger the convict may pose on national security,” the Bahrain News Agency said in announcing the king’s decision.

The statement did not specify who the people were or what crimes they had been convicted for.

King Hamad has instructed the interior ministry to examine each case and prepare a list of those whose nationalities can be reinstated.

The kingdom has accused Iran of seeking to sow discord within Bahrain’s Shiite community using provocateurs and also of plotting attacks against the government.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet has cautioned that stripping the nationality of people convicted of some crimes risks leaving them stateless.

Updated: April 23, 2019 02:35 AM


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