Bahraini deportees return home from Iran
Hundreds assembled at Bahrain International Airport, some waving flags and pictures of the King and others with flower bouquets and chocolates, to receive some 230 of their relatives who returned from the Islamic Republic of Iran Sunday after being granted citizenship by royal order.
A private airplane, ordered by Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, brought the returnees from Shiraz, where they have been residing since they were deported in the early 1980s for political reasons.
According to Gulf News, the returnees are mostly people who were born in Bahrain of Iranian origin, but who have Bahraini relatives such as a spouse, brother or sister.
Two groups returned home last week and an additional 77 Bahrainis, who are still in Iran, are expected to arrive within a short period of time.
For his part, Head of the committee for exiled Bahrainis, Sheikh Abdul Azeem Al Muhtadi, told the Gulf daily that there are more exiles living in Denmark, Lebanon, Sweden and Canada.
"Their papers are being processed and they should be back in Bahrain soon," he stated, as he thanked the King for issuing his 'special royal decision' to grant them the Bahraini passport.
"They are Bahrainis; born and raised here, however due to political reasons or actions they were deported and, basically, swept away from their families. We have a lot of broken homes due to this; fathers who left their year-old children and so on," he added. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)