Manama: Several naturalised Bahrainis have received death threats, warning them they would be killed if they did not leave the country promptly.
The threats, included in letters mailed to their home addresses, coincide with the parliamentary elections on November 25 and in which the participation of the newly-naturalised Bahrainis has been a controversial issue.
"We are warning you that you have to choose between the suitcase and the coffin," said one of the letters published yesterday by Al Ayam newspaper. "You are in danger and so are your family and your possessions. Get out of our country because you are not welcome. Death and fire are your destiny," the unsigned letter said.
In another letter, the author(s) said that they hated all naturalised Bahrainis. "You are detested. You have taken from us, the sons of Bahrain, our homes, jobs and education opportunities. You will face the same destiny as the Egyptians in Iraq [after the end of the Iraq-Iran war]. It will be nails, hammers and a coffin. Your destiny is near," the typed letter said.
A third letter warned that naturalised Bahrainis did not belong and had to be eliminated. "Naturalised Bahrainis are not welcome. They and their children deserve to be killed and their houses must be burned down. They have to choose either the suitcase and leave, or the coffin and die," the letter said.
Although dirty tactics have cast a shadow over campaigning in this month's elections, it is the first time that xenophobic and hate letters are being used to scare off naturalised Bahrainis.
Several political societies have called for a 10-year ban on newly-naturalised Bahrainis before they can vote in parliamentary or municipal elections, but the government has repeatedly said that the measure would be discriminatory and that, as citizens, they were fully entitled to exercise their political rights.