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Hezbollah denounces Bahraini ban on main opposition bloc

16 June 2016 19:20



Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has condemned Bahrain for suspending the activities of its main Shia opposition group, saying the move once again exposed the “autocratic nature” of the ruling Al Khalifah regime.

Hezbollah on Thursday said imposing the ban on the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society was an assault against the internationally-accepted rights and freedoms of people in Bahrain.

It said Manama has committed numerous crimes against its people since  an anti-regime uprising began in the country more than five years ago, adding that killing protesters, arresting activists and imposing all forms of restrictions on civilians were just a few examples of its repressive policy.

Such crimes have targeted most Bahraini people, without the regime taking into consideration the political, religious and ethical grounds, the statement added.

Hezbollah also slammed a similar decision to dissolve two other opposition groups in Bahrain, saying those entities were engaged in totally peaceful activities and that their ideology did not pose any security threat.

UN ‘dismayed’ by Bahrain clampdown

Meanwhile, the United Nations on Thursday voiced concerns about Bahrain’s crackdown on the opposition.

A UN statement said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was worried about the policies of the government against the dissent, adding that the current actions against the opposition may “lessen the prospect of an inclusive national dialogue in the interest of all people of the kingdom.”

Bahrainis hold placards bearing the portrait of Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the Shia opposition movement al-Wefaq, during an anti-regime protest on May 29, 2016 in the village of Zinj on the outskirts Manama. ©AFP


The statement said Ban was also “dismayed” by reports that rights campaigners and activists are intimidated and stripped of their citizenship in Bahrain.

On Tuesday, the Bahraini Justice Ministry announced in a statement that the kingdom had suspended all activities of al-Wefaq. Manama has also dissolved al-Tawiya and al-Risala Islamic associations.

Officials in al-Wefaq lashed out at the move and called on the international community to take action in the face of the Bahraini regime’s crackdown on dissent.

Al-Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman has been in prison since December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime and collaborating with foreign powers, which he has denied.

Bahrain, a close ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, has seen a wave of anti-government protests since mid-February 2011.

The tiny sheikdom’s heavy-handed crackdown on the demonstrations with the help of Saudi Arabia has left dozens dead and hundreds more injured.

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