Bahrain: mass trial revoking citizenship of 138 people a 'mockery of justice'
Responding to the news that a court in Bahrain has convicted 139 people of terrorism charges after an unfair mass trial, and revoked the citizenship of all but one, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:
“With these outrageous sentences, Bahrain’s authorities have once again demonstrated their complete disregard for international fair trial standards.
“Today’s trial makes a mockery of justice and confirms an alarming pattern of convictions after unfair mass trials in Bahrain.
“This trial also demonstrates how Bahrain’s authorities are increasingly relying on revocation of nationality as a tool for repression – around 900 people have now been stripped of their citizenship since 2012.
“Arbitrarily stripping people of their citizenship and rendering citizens stateless are blatant violations of international law. Bahrain’s authorities must immediately stop relying on these unlawful measures as punishment.”
A Bahraini court today convicted 139 people on terrorism charges in a mass trial involving a total of 169 defendants, sentencing them to prison terms of between three years and life in prison. In total, 138 of those convicted were arbitrarily stripped of their citizenship, and a further 30 were acquitted.
This is the second flagrantly unfair mass trial in Bahrain in weeks. In the last case in February, 167 people were convicted, primarily for participation in a non-violent sit-in. In May last year, 115 people were also stripped of their citizenship following a single trial, their sentences were upheld in January. So far in 2019, some 160 people have been stripped of their citizenship, while last year approximately 300 people had their nationalities revoked.