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Shiites Islamic Movement condemns plans to revoke cleric's citizenship

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has condemned recent decision by Bahrain to revoke the citizenship of the country’s most senior Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim.

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Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky play

Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky-Leader of Shiite Muslims in Nigeria.

Shiites said the act is a campaign of intimidation at the highest level.

In a statement issued by its spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, Shiites said the decision is also a campaign of silencing the opposition.

"This campaign is trying to legalize suppression through either verdicts or some decrees. This is also the line Bahraini regime has toed recently in order to silence the opposition so that the regime could stake claim to might and the authority over the masses and that people have to submit to this absolute power," the statement said.

The group said the decision will take the country nowhere except towards more sedition and violence.

The regime has not managed to silence the people for so long. How this ill-advised move will do anything other than escalate the situation remains to be seen."

"Revocation of citizenship in the circumstance is not just a harsher step, but even more irrational. It is a very traditional, old-fashioned way of ruling, of deciding who is a citizen and who is not. Citizenship is a birth right of every human being and every citizen of any state has all the rights eligible to any citizen of that state. If the Bahraini state simply decides who they delete as citizen, it would have cancelled the citizenship of all the Shi’a community and kick them out in order to just have very obedient citizens. This is a very irrational move and it is not politically wise and it is going to escalate the situation within and incur more criticisms outside Bahrain."

"The Al-Khalifah regime should be reminded that Ayatollah Qassim who has been on the scene for 50 years, is the father of the demand for freedom, the father of the demand for change and the demand which inspired Bahrain into active civil society and political peaceful activism. But many of the Western countries, we believe, will try to be either ignoring what is happening or giving very lip-service not real criticism, while any aggression against a citizen by that kind of measure should be opposed internationally and should take all the legal international measure against it," the statement added.

Shiites call on the international community and Islamic countries to condemn what they described as brazen act of heavy-handed crackdown on dissent by the Bahraini regime.

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