Dear Friends Hon. Mr. Sètondji Adjovi, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention Hon. Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression Hon. Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association Hon. Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Hon. Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders
1- Considering the fact that the primary responsibility of governments is to defend the rights stipulated in the laws of each country, particularly in the constitution, fundamental civil, political, economic, and social laws, plus the duty of every government to protect its citizens,
2- According to Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights everyone has the right to a nationality, and no one should be arbitrarily deprived of citizenship or the right to change his nationality,
3- According to Article 24 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international conventions, including the 1951 Convention,
4- According to Article 29 of the Charter on Arab Human Rights and laws sanctioned by the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO),
We are deeply concerned due to the revocation of the citizenship of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim, the religious leader of Bahrain’s Shiites, along with a group of Bahrain’s scholars based on a decision made by Bahrain’s Interior Ministry. This decision was made without following a legal and judicial procedure, and without proving any crime in the courts of that country.
These actions are in conflict with the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council as a subsidiary organ of the United Nations, and it is also in contrary to Article 19 of the UN International Covenant on Political and Social Rights to protect the freedom of expression.
In addition, the arbitrary revocation of Sheikh Isa Qassim’s citizenship by Bahrain’s government was based on religious discrimination and is preventing him from benefitting from his political, civil, social, economic, and cultural rights.
In conclusion, the international community and the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council need to immediately use all necessary legal means and take steps to overturn this government’s arbitrary decision to revoke the citizenship of Sheikh Isa Qassim. Also, improved safeguards are needed to prevent a repeat of such illegal actions by the Bahraini government.
Siavosh Naderi Farsani
Founder & President of IACID AB