Bahrain justice ministry seeks to dissolve opposition group

Authorities have piled pressure on the country's opposition in recent months, dissolving the largest opposition group al-Wefaq last year and revoking the citizenship of the country's top Shi'ite Muslim cleric.

By: Reuters | Dubai | Published: March 6, 2017 7:39 pm
FILE- In this July 28, 2013 file photo, Bahraini lawmakers participate in a special session of parliament to discuss how to handle the uprising in the Gulf island kingdom, convened in Manama, Bahrain. Bahrain has approved a constitutional change allowing military courts to try civilians, a move widely criticized by activists. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File) FILE- In this July 28, 2013 file photo, Bahraini lawmakers participate in a special session of parliament to discuss how to handle the uprising in the Gulf island kingdom, convened in Manama, Bahrain. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

Bahrain’s justice ministry filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking to dissolve a main opposition group on the grounds that it undermined security, state news agency BNA reported. The secular National Democratic Action Society, or Waad, had perpetrated “serious violations targeting the principle of respecting the rule of law, supporting terrorism and sanctioning violence by glorifying people convicted for terrorism cases,” the ministry said.

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Authorities have piled pressure on the country’s opposition in recent months, dissolving the largest opposition group al-Wefaq last year and revoking the citizenship of the country’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric. Anger has mounted among the Gulf island kingdom’s Shi’ite majority since the “Arab Spring” protests they led were repressed by the Sunni-led government in 2011 with the help of Gulf Arab states.

Violence has jumped this year after authorities carried out a death sentence on three men convicted of a deadly bombing on policemen in 2014, followed by the shooting deaths of two policemen and three militant fugitives. Bahrain accuses Shi’ite Iran of fomenting violence in the kingdom – a charge Tehran denies – and a senior government advisory body allowed for the military trial of civilians suspected of attacking security forces on Sunday.

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