1121 GMT October 17, 2019
A court in Bahrain recently has convicted 138 citizens of the country of stripping nationality on charges of forming a group that has called it 'terrorist' and claimed to be linked to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), IRNA reported.
Just a few days after naming IRGC as terrorist group, the Bahraini court issued such a verdict that has a clear message.
** Trump's new pretext for hostile politics against Tehran
The announcement of Donald Trump's decision to blacklist the IRGC in the list of White House-identified terrorist organizations has allegedly provided pretext for hostile actions by some regional regimes.
This Washington action has sparked widespread international criticism and opposition.
Referring to the role of the Revolutionary Guard Corps in restoring regional stability, especially the fight against ISIS in recent years, critics have warned about the adverse consequences and risks of making such a decision for the region.
The awareness of Europe and many countries about the adverse consequences of such a decision led to defying the United States in calling the IRGC as a terrorist entity. Meanwhile, some opportunist actors who of course do not have weight in the regional and global equations, have became more catholic than the pope, in order to get more support from Trump via synergy with Washington, and became front runner in countering the IRGC.
In this context, Bahrain proved to Washington its complaisance by convicting a group of its citizens and the social network of Instagram by blocking user accounts attributed to the IRGC commanders.
** House of Khalifa kills good neighborliness with judicial instruments, security allegations
Stripping nationality is a conviction that has come to the fore because of pleasing Manama's leadership in recent years, especially after the Arab Spring; an arbitrary and inhuman punishment that so far has been repeatedly imposed on the citizens of this country and has been the subject of criticism and protest by many human rights institutions.
Manama, which has sought to cease the spread of waves of Arab Spring since 2011, and has strived for nipping in the bud the popular protests, has repeatedly used the stripping of nationality as a means of suppressing popular protests, especially against Shia groups.
Amnesty International has considered the issuance of such a verdict which simply strips the nationality of a group of citizens, as clear example of 'ridiculing justice'.
In the eyes of this institution, the Bahraini regime, without regard to international standards and criteria, is exploiting such rulings for its own interests and political purposes.
The politicization of the judiciary has a history behind. The Bahraini courts have long since intensified their hostility against Iran and the Bahraini Shias to serve Saudi Arabia as the main supporter of the House of Khalifa regime and the suppression of popular protests. Earlier, Bahraini courts had raised similar allegations against Iran.
The Bahraini judicial system claims that the convicted 110 Bahrainis were armed by the IRGC and pursued sabotage aims against Manama.
Last November, the Manama government arrested a number of individuals in charge of membership in a so-called terrorist group linked to Iran. There are many examples of this, and the frequency of this kind of accusation is a sign of its baseless and stereotyped.
Political and even civilian groups and activists in Bahrain, which are mostly Shias, have been victims of Manama's false accusations in the context of anti-Iranian policies for many years.
Meanwhile, in the eyes of the observers, the ongoing charges by Manama against the Shias of the country and Iran are like a cover that is supposed to play a role of deviation for House of Khalifa, and to deviate public opinion of the government's inability to resolve internal issues towards; it is a well-known and commonly used method in totalitarian systems that justify their oppression instead of being accountable and responsive and justifying their hostility.
In addition to Iran, Qatar has also been portrayed as an enemy by Manama in these days, and it is intended to attribute domestic opposition groups to Doha as a means of domestic repression. It was only recently that Sheikh Ali Salman that was considered one of the most important Shia political figures in Bahrain was accused of collusion with Qatar against Manama.
The intensified pressure on Bahraini Shia groups who are charged with links to the IRGC can be interpreted within the framework of the new era of US-Saudi confrontation with Iran.