Bahraini Academic Faces Revocation of Citizenship

February 12, 2015

Middle East studies scholars are protesting the decision of the Bahraini government to revoke the citizenship of 72 individuals, including that of Masaud Jahromi, a professor of telecommunications engineering at Ahlia University.  

A letter from the Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom describes the decision to revoke the Bahrain-born Jahromi’s citizenship as “arbitrary and thus a violation of customary international law.”

“We strongly suspect, in fact, that the revocation of Dr. Jahromi’s citizenship is political in nature, related to his past advocacy for greater democracy and respect for civil rights in your country,” continues the letter, which notes that Jahromi was arrested and detained for multiple months in 2011, the year of the Arab Spring. Amnesty International has also expressed concern about the Bahraini government’s decision to denaturalize citizens without affording them due process, as has the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. The government has said that the 72 individuals are being punished for various “illegal acts,” which range from espionage and terrorism-related charges to allegations of “defaming the image of the regime” and "defaming brotherly countries." The government's statement does not specify which individuals allegedly committed which acts. 

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