Bahrain revokes citizenship of top Shi`ite cleric

Ayatollah Hussein al-Najati now could be considered stateless.

Baghdad: Bahrain`s rulers say they`ve revoked the citizenship of a powerful Shi’ite cleric with close ties to Iraq as part of a widening crackdown on suspected dissidents.

A statement by Bahrain`s interior minister says citizenship was pulled from Ayatollah Hussein al-Najati and his family.

Al-Najati is the Bahrain representative of Iraq`s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country`s most influential Shi’ite political cleric.

Al-Najati was born in Bahrain and studied in Iraq and Iran. He now could be considered stateless.

The move on Sunday is the latest blow by Bahrain`s Sunni rulers against their majority Shi’ite population ahead of Parliamentary Elections next month in the tiny Gulf state. A wave of arrests since August has touched off clashes and protests.

Bureau Report