Bahrain Interior Ministry expels Shi’ite cleric

Bahrain Interior Ministry expels Shi’ite cleric | PakistanTribeBAHRAIN – On Wednesday Bahrain Interior Ministry confirmed that it had deported one of the kingdom most prominent Muslim Shi’ite cleric, Hussein Mirza Abdul Baqi Mohammed, also known as Hussain Najati, on account he represents Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani’s financial interests – an important Iraqi Shi’ite cleric and well-respected Islamic authority.

In a statement published on Wednesday Bahrain Interior Ministry wrote that since the authorities had established that Hussain Najati had been collecting donations on behalf of Ayatollah Sistani his presence in the kingdom had therefore become undesirable.

Bahrain authorities claim Najati failed to properly licence and register his business dealings, thus prompting the ministry to intervene. “As none of the required procedures had been taken, it was decided to deport Najati in accordance with the laws and regulations in Bahrain,” a statement read on Wednesday.

While state officials have always refrained from clearly explaining their reticence toward Ayatollah Sistani, it has become evident that the cleric’s open opposition of Al Khalifa sectarian witch-hunt against Bahrain Shi’ite community and his calls for reforms have provoked much ire among the royals.

“Although King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa has time and time again denied to have targeted the Shi’ite community on the basis of their faith, the ongoing human rights violations and countless abuses of power against peaceful and law abiding citizens can no longer be understood as anything else but sectarian profiling and targeting,” said Shia Rights Watch.

Hussein Najati’s expulsion from Bahrain by the authorities needs to be understood as yet another example of Al Khalifa systematic campaign of abuse against the Shi’ite community.

“But beyond the stigmatization of a people based on their religious affiliations, Bahrain proves once again to have made a mockery out of international law by stripping a citizen from his nationality on political grounds. A Bahraini citizen in his own right, Hussein Najati should never have been expelled from Bahrain,” insisted SRW – prominent Shi’ite rights organization.

While Bahrain attempted back in July 2013 to amend its legislation in order to include the revocation of Bahraini citizenship for anyone found guilty of terrorism-related offences within its by-laws, the process remains nevertheless illegal from a human rights standpoint.

About the author

Catherine Shakdam

Catherine Shakdam, based in Yemen, working with Shia Rights Watch, attempting to raise awareness on issues relating to sectarianism across the Islamic world.

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