UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concern Thursday after a Bahrain court convicted 139 individuals of terrorism in a mass trial on Tuesday.
The individuals were convicted of terrorism and extremism related to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. All but one of those convicted were stripped of their nationality. The commissioner is concerned that international fair trial standards were not met, seeing as how most convicted were tried in absentia.
Bachelet stressed that the deprivation of one’s nationality is a serious concern and should be examined with extreme scrutiny. Revoking one’s nationality could pose serious consequences for that individual and their family, as well as increase the likelihood of human rights abuses. The right to nationality is also protected under the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The UN has called for Bahrain to reform its counter-terrorism legislation to include revocation of nationality only in extreme circumstances and to ensure careful judicial review under international fair trial standards to ensure justice for all parties involved.