Sheikh Isa Qassim, Bahrain’s leading cleric, had his Bahraini nationality revoked on Monday (20/06/2016) in a confrontational move by the Al-Khalifa regime in Bahrain. It is a brash step in a line of aggressive steps taken by Al-Khalifa over the last two weeks, starting with the intensified sentence of Sheikh Ali Salman, prevention of activists from leaving the country to attend rights events, rearrest of Nabeel Rajab, and the closure of societies like Al-Ta’wiya and Al-Resala.
The Al-Khalifa regime has grown in aggressiveness with the UK providing international cover and protection to its moves, installing their naval base and exchanging pleasantries in a time where the Bahraini people wants to move on and reform away from the dictatorial and merciless regime that is led by the Al-Khalifas.
The UK and US have quietly watched with passiveness and feigned alarm, and some would say acquiescence, as the Al-Khalifa regime strips over 280 Bahraini nationals of their citizenships, forcefully deporting scores out of the country, and packing out Bahrain’s prisons with over 4000 political prisoners – many of whom are youth that demanded peaceful democratic transformation of the country. Notwithstanding the fact that the breadth of the Bahraini opposition are behind bars, which makes it virtually impossible to reconcile the political stalemate.
Bahrain Campaign believes the prominent presence of the UK and US in Bahrain, along with their large fleet and sizeable diplomatic attendance, can demand of the Al-Khalifas to cease violations and release political prisoners in an instant. However, the reality of the situation remains in a fashion where short-term interests – pacifying Saudi Arabia and ensuring Gulf investments and commodities – lies ahead of democratization of Bahrain or an end to tyrannical rule in the country. If the persistence of the Bahraini people continues, and the Al-Khalifa regime employ their much used strategy of suppression by violent means, the blame will also fall on the shoulders of the regime’s main allies.