Bahraini stripped of nationality, deported for 'insulting king'

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 04 2017 05:01 AM

A Bahraini citizen convicted of "insulting the king" and stripped of his nationality has been deported to Iraq after serving a two-year jail sentence, Amnesty International said on Friday. 

Ibrahim Karimi was released from the notorious Jaw prison on Monday and "deported to Iraq the next day," Amnesty said in a report.

He had served a sentence of two years and one month for allegedly "insulting the king" of Bahrain as well as Saudi Arabia and its ruler, and for possession of a stun gun. 

Karimi was sentenced in 2016 but his citizenship had been revoked by the Bahraini authorities more than three years earlier.

Amnesty said Karimi had been found guilty of "publicly inciting hatred and contempt against the regime" and of "publicly insulting the king".

He was also convicted of "insulting Saudi Arabia and its king" in a tweet, following the deadly 2015 collapse of a massive construction crane at the Grand Mosque in Mecca that killed more than 100 people.

Karimi has denied ownership of the twitter account. 

Amnesty has described Karimi as a "prisoner of conscience".

Authorities in Manama have stepped up prosecution of dissidents in recent months, granting military courts the right to try civilians for charges including terrorism as protests demanding an elected government in the Sunni-ruled monarchy near their seventh year. 

Dozens of mostly Shiite protesters have been jailed and number of high-profile activists and clerics stripped of their citizenship since protests erupted in 2011. 

Bahrain, a key ally of the United States and home to the US Fifth Fleet, accuses Shiite Iran of training "terrorist cells" that aim to overthrow the Bahraini government. 

Iran denies the allegation.