Bahrain court suspends opposition party

Activities of Al-Wefaq suspended for three months less than one month before parliamentary elections are to be held.

    Sheik Ali Salman is the leader of the main Shia opposition group Al-Wefaq [AP]
    Sheik Ali Salman is the leader of the main Shia opposition group Al-Wefaq [AP]

    A Bahraini court has issued an order suspending the activities of the country's main Shia opposition group just weeks before parliamentary elections are to be held, AFP news agency quoted a court official in the Gulf island kingdom as saying.

    An administrative court in the capital Manama ruled on Tuesday that Al-Wefaq, which draws most of its support from the Sunni-ruled kingdom's Shia majority, had violated a law on associations.

    Defence lawyer, Abdullah al-Shamlawi, told the Associated Press news agency that the verdict meant all of Al-Wefaq's activities would be frozen for three months.

    Al-Wefaq had already announced that it would boycott a November 22 election along with other opposition groups.

    The main Shia bloc believes that the Sunni monarchy has not engaged in genuine reconciliation efforts after widespread protests that began in 2011 and were led by the kingdom's majority Shia population.

    Al-Wefaq was established in 2002 after an announcement of political reforms the previous year. It had no immediate comment on the court's ruling.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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