King restores citizenship of 551 Bahrainis - GulfToday

King restores citizenship of 551 Bahrainis

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King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa. File / AFP

King Hamad has ordered that the citizenship of 551 Bahrainis revoked by courts be restored, official media said on Sunday.

The king, who can reverse court decisions, requested that the competent authorities take into account "the nature of crimes committed," the Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

"His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa has issued an order, reinstating the citizenship of 551 convicts whose nationality had been revoked as per court rulings," BNA reported.

The interior ministry has been instructed to examine files and prepare lists of those to be freed.

A Bahraini court on Tuesday revoked the citizenship of 138 people and jailed 139, at the end of a mass trial denounced by rights group Amnesty International.

Those convicted − Shiite Bahraini citizens, according to a judicial source − belonged to a group of 169 people accused of forming a "terror" group with links to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

Bahraini authorities have repeatedly denied taking discriminatory measures against citizens of the kingdom, and say they are facing violence from Iran-backed groups.

Agencies