GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Human rights workers criticized Bahrain's recommended new anti-terrorism law that revokes citizenship for convicts and bars protests in the capital.
The proposal violates international law, which prohibits nations from revoking citizenship except in specific instances. The measure can lead to nation-less convicts who could then be subjected to human rights abuses, said Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"We reiterate that the right to nationality is a fundamental right protected by article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her nationality," Pouilly said. "While recognizing the responsibility of States to maintain law and order, we remind the authorities that any measure should respect international human rights standards."
The legislation is being considered by Bahrain's national assembly after it was supported by royal decree in 2006. In addition to revoking citizenship for anyone convicted of inciting terrorism or committing a terrorist act, it also bans all protests, sit-ins and rallies in Bahrain's capital, Manama.