Al-Kahlifeh Regime Trying to Hide ISIS Defeats in Syria, Iraq: Political Analyst

Al-Kahlifeh Regime Trying to Hide ISIS Defeats in Syria, Iraq: Political Analyst
Tue Jun 21, 2016 18:43:03

A senior Iranian political expert slammed Manama for its suppression and killing of Bahraini people, and said that stripping the country's senior cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of his citizenship is meant to distract the international community's attention from ISIS defeats in Iraq and Syria.

"The Bahraini government is trying to overshadow the recent popular victories in Iraq and also to intensify the sectarian strife in the region," Expert on Middle East Sabah Zanganeh told FNA on Tuesday.

He said that the Al-Khalifa regime is seeking to wage a new wage of propaganda by stripping Sheikh Qassim of his citizenship right.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry announced in a statement yesterday the country's top Shiite cleric was stripped of his citizenship.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry announced in a statement on Monday the country's top Shiite cleric was stripped of his citizenship.

"Isa Ahmed Qassim has been stripped of his Bahraini citizenship," Bahrain state news agency cited the ministry’s statement, referring to the country's most senior Shiite Muslim cleric in Bahrain.

The latest move by the Bahrain regime against the country’s main opposition figures came as the Al-Kahlifeh regime is exerting mounting pressure on the opposition.

Sheikh Isa Qassim

Opposition members feel the government is willing to accelerate its crackdown on dissent because it believes it will only face minimal censure through statements of concern in the US and Europe. Both the US and UK have large naval bases in Bahrain.

Last week, the government suspended the main Shia opposition party, al-Wefaq, accusing it of having links to foreign terrorists and inciting hatred. Sheikh Ali Salman, al-Wefaq’s secretary-general, was arrested in 2014 on charges of inciting violence. His sentence was doubled to nine years on appeal last month.

The cabinet decided to revoke the citizenship of Sheikh Isa — an indigenous Bahraini who applied for nationality to get a passport in the 1960s — after a presentation by the interior ministry. The lack of judicial oversight raised concerns among rights groups.

Stripping the nationality of dissidents has become a popular tool for Persian Gulf Arab littoral states battling domestic dissent, such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, where nationality is perceived by many as a privilege not a right.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says more than 250 Bahrainis have been stripped of their nationality for alleged disloyalty.

The Human Rights Watch lashed out the Manama regime for stripping Bahrain's Shiite Leader of his citizenship.

“The decision to strip Sheikh Isa Qassim of his citizenship takes Bahrain into the darkest days it has seen since the protests and crackdown of 2011,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “The Bahraini authorities are shutting the door on political reform, while simultaneously stoking dissent. These actions should be met with serious consequences, not expressions of concern,” FNA reported.

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