Bahraini court orders Shiite council closed for political reasons
Bahrain has accused the Olamaa Islamic Council for using its confessional cover to participate in politics that are not favorable to the current Sunni regime (File Archive/AFP)
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Bahrain shut down a Shiite Muslim clerics' council Wednesday accusing it "of politicization and illegal operations," according to Agence France Presse.
A Manama court ordered that the Olamaa Islamic Council close its doors and liquidize all of its assets.
The original case against Olamaa was brought forth by the Ministry of Justice's Islamic Affairs and Endowment that was filed last September accusing the council of "functioning outside the law."
According to the ministry, the council, which is led by the prominent Shiite cleric Issa Qasem, "violates the constitution and the laws of the kingdom...and [is used] to practice politics under a confessional cover."
The ministry also charged the council for "adopt[ing] the so-called revolution," in reference to Shiite-led uprisings and protests that have rocked the kingdom since February 2011.
Wednesday's verdict arrives as Manama continues its crackdown on the Shiite opposition majority, which has come under increased scrutiny from some members of the international community--but not all. According to the International Federation for Human Rights, at least 89 people have been killed in Bahrain since protests began three years ago, but world powers like the United States have largely turned a blind eye to the events in the Gulf archipelago due to Washington's strong relationship with Manama.
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