The Bahraini government has recently prevented the return of its nationals from Iran which is in violation of all the international agreements and also Bahrain’s regulations.
Over 1200 Bahraini pilgrims who had traveled to Iran are left on their own due to Al-Khalifa’s racist policies. Although the Iranian government has made all the necessary arrangements to facilitate the return of these individuals to their country, no cooperation has been offered by the Bahraini government.
The population of Bahrain is one million and two hundred thousand and the number of Bahraini nationals is six hundred thousand. Therefore, 1200 individuals are a huge percentage of the country that have been deliberately barred from returning to Bahrain. This political behavior of Al Khalifa is not accepted in any political literature. Even countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait adopted necessary measures to return their nationals from Iran after the coronavirus outbreak.
Analysts of regional issues consider this sort of behavior displayed by the Bahraini ruler as a new form of racism. A question is raised in the public opinion of the Arab world and that is basically how a government can pursue such a cruel policy towards its nationals.
However, five Bahraini pilgrims have died due to reasons other than COVID-19 so far. A large number of these people are the elderly. Pregnant women are also among them.
In an interview with Mehr News Agency, a member of the central committee for the Bahraini Cleric Council Sheikh Mohammed Khojasteh referred to the deplorable condition of Bahraini pilgrims in Iran and held Al-Khalifa responsible for deliberately preventing the return of Bahraini residents.
“Almost 1200 Bahraini pilgrims are currently left on their own and most of them are in Mashhad. They traveled to Iran about one month ago.” Khojasteh said.
“There are a number of the Elderly and pregnant women among these pilgrims who are having a difficult time.” He added.
“Some of these people have chronic diseases that make it more difficult for them and the mental pressure causes more vulnerability to coronavirus.” Sheikh Khojasteh noted.
“A number of these pilgrims need medication which they are not able to get due to the sanctions against Iran. Additionally, some of them need monthly medical examinations in Bahrain.” He said.
He went on to say that the Al-Khalifa government has a racist view regarding this issue. Moreover, the Bahraini MPs who are supposed to support the people have passed a law based on which Bahraini nationals are prevented from returning to the country till they are fully recovered or after the officials have made sure that they do not have COVID-19.
Sheikh Khojasteh emphasized that these actions carried out by the Al-Khalifa government are in violation of all the international agreements and also Bahrain’s domestic laws.