According to a letter published in Gulf Daily News, a pro-government newspaper, "dual nationality" has become the new target in Bahrain.
In a 400 word letter, Abu Mohammed, a correspondent for the Gulf Daily News, slams Bahrainis holding dual nationality and accuses them of being responsible for the uprising and the violence in the Gulf country.
“Generally those who hold dual nationality are opportunists or jokers, who play one card to stir violence and cover their actions using the other card,” the letter says, “They are not smart cookies, as many people might think, but confused people who have lost courage and ingenuity,” he adds.
To illustrate his point and prove that there is a correlation between holding a dual citizenship and “stirring violence,” the author uses Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a prominent dissident who has become the symbol of the Bahraini uprising and who conveniently holds both a Bahraini and Danish citizenship.
In the second part of the letter, Mohammed calls on Bahrainis holding dual citizenship to make a choice and comply with the laws in force in the country chosen, which in case of prosecution would allow the Bahraini regime to act “freely” and impose its laws without having to answer for it.
“If they feel patriotic to their nation (Bahrain)”, he says,“They should disown the other citizenship and play the game as Bahrainis – and be willing to accept the consequences of being on the wrong side of the law [...] It is high time that the government correctly spelled out that dual nationality cannot be recognised and that those who hold double citizenships should have to stick to the citizenship of their choice, so that they can be treated accordingly.”
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who says it is "freedom or death", is a diplomatic puzzle for the government, aware that the death of Al-Khawaja would lead to a diplomatic storm with Denmark, but also unwilling to back down and release him as it would appear as a victory for the opposition.
Individuals holding dual citizenship are a real problem for the Bahraini regime as it allows foreign governments to interfere in the country's internal affairs, voice strong criticisms and 'force' the regime to be more transparent.