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Bahrain strips nine of citizenship amid crackdown on dissent

This year, more than 200 people have been stripped of their nationality [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 May, 2018

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Bahrain has continued to revoke citizenships of those it accuses of "terrorism".
A Bahrain court has stripped nine people of their citizenship and sentenced them to three and 15 years in jail amid a years-long crackdown on dissent in the Gulf state.

This year, more than 200 people have been stripped of their nationality, including 115 in a mass terrorism trial last week.

Rights group Amnesty International called on Bahrain to quash the hundreds of convictions and "end the practice of arbitrary deprivation of nationality".

The nine convicted on Monday were accused of establishing a terrorist group, illegally possessing weapons and ammunition, and shooting at policemen in 2016 with homemade firearms. Two of the suspects remain at large, Bahrain's state-run news agency said.

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy says 728 people have been stripped of their nationality since 2012, after the Sunni-led monarchy led a crackdown against protests by majority Shia Muslims.

Bahrain has jailed dozens of high-profile activists and clerics since protests demanding an elected government erupted in early 2011.

The Bahraini government has accused Shia Iran of backing the protests and attempting to overthrow the government. Tehran denies involvement.

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