Bahraini human rights defender Yusef al-Muhafadha highlighted the suffering of a Bahraini girl who has been deprived of citizenship by the regime authorities since her birth, due to her father’s political participation.
Al-Muhafadha says that child Asma Yasser Ahmed was born and did not obtain Bahraini citizenship because of her father’s presence in prison.
Primary public schools in Bahrain did not accept her registration, as she does not possess a passport or nationality.
Al-Muhafadha further criticized the Bahraini policy of individual penalties – according to what is stipulated in the constitution – that affects Bahraini citizens.
“Why should this child remain illiterate, stateless and without rights?” he asked.
Asmaa must go to school. Her father who’s a political prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment shouldn’t be the reason to deprive her of citizenship and nationality rights.
Asma Yasser Ahmed was 9 months old when her father was arrested. Today, she is supposed to be in her first year of school, but she is now deprived of education as a result.
Because of their religious and political affiliation, Bahraini authorities follow a systematic pattern against peaceful activists through depriving their children of nationality and travel.
Bahraini authorities deny children of citizens under the age of four from their right to the nationality of their Bahraini parents.
Bahrain, which is one of the most naturalizing countries for foreigners, deprives children of Bahraini roots from possessing their country’s passports, says Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain.
According to the organization, there are no legal or humanitarian reasons that allow this. On the contrary, their right is violated on several levels, including the violation of the right to a nationality, the right to health, the right to education, and the right to movement.
In a lengthy report, the organization highlighted examples of the suffering of four children from Bahraini families, who were targeted by the government by arbitrarily depriving them of their nationality.
The four children are: . Abdullah Adam, Ali Salman, Hassan Hazeem, and Hasan Hazim.
Such measures aim to indirectly punish their parents for their peaceful activities in opposition to the ruling family.
The arbitrary deprivation of nationality for the four children is nothing but a model for the systematic pattern adopted by the government against dozens of Bahraini children. Consequently, they are unlawfully criminalized for acts they did not commit, stressed ADHR.
ADHR explained that the authorities are violating a number of human rights laws, including the right of children to nationality and protection from statelessness in accordance with Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The human rights organization warned that Bahraini officials have criminalized parents for actions they did not commit, as they strongly believe that the reason is their religious and political affiliation.
Bahrain has legal obligations to protect these rights under the provisions of international human rights treaties and Bahraini’s constitution that the government has ratified.
Furthermore, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain condemned the illegal and inhuman suffering of these children, stressing that basic human rights, such as the right to a nationality, the right to medicine, the right to education, and the right to movement are sacred according to Bahraini and international laws and treaties.
The organization called on the Bahraini government to stop its repressive measure towards children and grant them the Bahraini nationality and passport.
ADHR further called on the authorities to stop targeting peaceful opposition activists and compensating them for human rights violations practiced against them and their families.