Bahrain strips 72 of citizenship for 'harming' kingdom

Citizenship of 72 people, including well-known Sunni and Shia activists, revoked to "preserve security and stability".

    Bahrain strips 72 of citizenship for 'harming' kingdom
    At least 89 people have been killed in clashes since protests erupted 2011 [Reuters]

    Bahrain has revoked the citizenship of 72 people for "harming the interests of the kingdom," state news agency BNA has said.

    A list published on the agency's website on Saturday, included the names of well-known Sunni and Shia Muslims, suggesting the move did not focus solely on the protracted unrest by Bahrain's Shia Muslim majority.

    BNA said the Bahraini government revoked the nationality of the 72 citizens to "preserve security and stability and fight the danger of terrorist threats".

    "Proper legal procedures will be taken by the interior ministry to implement this decision," it added.

    The tiny but strategic Gulf nation has experienced nearly four years of unrest, with a Shia-dominated opposition movement demanding greater political rights from the Sunni monarchy.

    The ruling Al Khalifa family has repeatedly revoked the nationality of citizens deemed a security threat, but Saturday's decision was the largest of its kind.

    In 2013, Bahrain passed a law stripping those of their nationality as a punishment if convicted of "terrorist" acts.

    Last November, three Shia Muslims were sentenced to 10 years in prison and stripped of their citizenship for planning to attack the police.

    The Shia, who make up the majority of Bahrain's population, complain of political and economic marginalisation, an accusation the government denies.

    At least 89 people have been killed in clashes since 2011, while hundreds have been arrested and put on trial, rights groups say.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months