Lebanon Deports Bahraini Outlawed Shiite Party Members To Win Brownie Points
Lebanon–Lebanon has deported some Bahraini citizens who spoke ill of their own country’s human rights records. The already outlawed members of a Shiite opposition party Al-Wefaq, spoke ill from Beirut itself. Political analysts feel this move will help ease the escalated tension between Lebanon and other Middle Eastern nations. Lebanon Interior Minister announced the decision, with the hope of winning the trust back with Bahrain.
A Sunni monarchy with a majority Shiite population. Earlier this month, Lebanon’s information minister, who is at the heart of the weekslong crisis, resigned in a bid to ease the rift. Mr. George Kordahi is a senior diplomat who had to be removed on the behest of the newly appointed PM that is trying to get things to stabilize in Lebanon. The diplomatic row between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries broke out in late October when remarks by Minister George Kordahi were aired, critical of the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
In 2016, Bahrain had suspended Al-Wefaq, the island nation’s largest opposition political party, as part of its crackdown on dissent that erupted following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in the region. It is worth noting that most of the ones deported will be non-Lebanese members of the Shiite party. The Interior Minister of Lebanon, Bassam Mawlawi has already communicated the decision to his Bahraini counterpart, Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa.
The party, many of its members now living in exile, last week held a press conference in Beirut to launch its annual human rights report. The decision to send them back came immediately after this. At the press conference, the members of Al-Wefaq party said they had documented more than 20,000 detainees in Bahrain since 2011, including hundreds of unlawful detentions and enforced disappearances in just 2019 and 2020.