Bahrain files lawsuit to suspend all opposition activities under law
The government of Bahrain has filed a lawsuit that will make the country's main opposition activities illegal under law for at least three months, according to Agence France Presse Sunday.
Manama's leadership's lawsuit would make the main opposition group, Al Wefaq, "illegal" under law for at least three months. While Manama has already banned all political parties, Al Wefaq's status as an "association" has allowed it to conduct opposition-linked activities over the past years. However, this status is now in jeopardy.
Bahrain's state news agency reported Sunday that the Ministry of Justice has called on Al Wefaq to "[rectify its] illegal status following the annulment of four general assemblies for lack of a quorum and the non-commitment to the public and transparency requirements for holding them [as per Bahraini regulations]."
Al Wefaq has led most of the country's public opposition protests since the country witnessed major demonstrations in Februay 2011.
The opposition has largely called on Manama to establish a constitutional monarchy that is representative of the Shiite majority. However, the Sunni minority leadership has largely ignored the majority, and has violently cracked down on opposition voices nationwide.
However, major world powers, including the United States, have largely turned a blind eye to Manama's crackdowns and violation of human rights therein, in order to preserve their strategic alliance in the Gulf region.
Yet in recent weeks, even Washington's strong relationship with Manama was jeopardized over interactions with Bahrain's opposition after a top U.S. diplomat was expelled from the Gulf nation for meeting with Al Wefaq's top cleric, Ali Salman, and ex-MP Khalil Marzooq.