U.N. expresses concern about Bahrain's tougher anti-terrorism laws

The United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday that it is concerned about a new recommendation in Bahrain that stiffens punishments on terrorists.

Part of the new anti-terrorism laws include revoking the citizenship of any person who is convicted of committing a terrorist offense. Also include in the new revisions, which were made by the Bahraini parliament and supported by a royal decree on July 31, were an increase to the detention period for convicted terrorists and a banning of sit-ins, rallies and gatherings in the capital of Manama.

"We reiterate that the right to nationality is a fundamental right protected by article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her nationality," Cécile Pouilly, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.

The U.N. has called for dialogue with all Bahrain and has expressed concern about the restrictions on public demonstrations and other public gatherings, especially since there has been civil unrest in Bahrain since early 2011.

"We call upon the Government of Bahrain to fully comply with its international human rights commitments, including respect for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and association, and urge all demonstrators to exercise these rights in a peaceful manner," Pouilly said.