The Bahraini authorities have deported Husain Khairallah, whose citizenship was revoked in 2012. This is the second case of forced deportation in a week, following the court of appeal’s decisions to uphold deportation orders. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) strongly condemns the Bahraini authorities’ actions against Khairallah and other Bahrainis who have had their citizenship revoked.
Khairallah was previously arrested in 2011, after which he alleged being subjected to torture while in detention. He was a member of the ALBA union and also one of the medics that treated wounded protesters during the Pearl Roundabout unrest in Bahrain.
On 23 February 2016, the court of appeal upheld the order to have Khairallah deported from Bahrain. Bahrain’s Directorate of Immigration, Passport, and Citizenship summoned Khairallah and arrested him after which he was immediately transported to the airport. After he refused to board the plane, he was detained at the airport. On the following day, Khairallah was only allowed to meet his wife. He had not been allowed to pack or say goodbye to his family and friends before he was arrested. He was then put on a plane to Beirut and had to leave his wife and 2 children behind.
This is the second case of deportation in a week. Two days before the deportation of Khairallah, Sheikh Mohammed Khojasta was deported by the Bahraini authorities after his deportation order was also upheld by the court of appeal. Last year, the authorities deported the prominent Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Husain Najati.
Apart from the cases of Khairallah and Sheikh Khojasta, there are ten ongoing cases of Bahrainis who have been denaturalized by administrative orders. As stateless individuals, they are usually deprived of their right to enjoy an adequate minimum standard of living, including health, social allowances, and other services. There have been calls to take the housing units given to them and their families prior to the denaturalization. They have been prosecuted and unfairly treated by security forces. Today, they are at an imminent risk of being deported.
Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that everyone has the right to a nationality (Paragraph 1). Paragraph 2 further specifies that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his or her nationality. Moreover, article 9 of the UDHR states that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
BCHR therefore calls on the government of Bahrain to immediately:
- Allow Husain Khairallah to return to Bahrain;
- Reinstate the nationality of all those whose citizenship was arbitrarily revoked on politically-motivated grounds since 2011, including that of Sheikh Mohammed Khojasta; and
- Accede to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.