Bahrain: court orders opposition group dissolved

The Bahrain High Civil Court on July 17 ordered al-Wefaq, the main Shi'ite opposition group in the country, to be dissolved. The Bahraini court previously issued a three-month suspension of the group. The court found that the group has engaged in "terrorism, extremism, and violence." The dissolution order requires al-Wefaq's assets to be liquidated and transferred to the state treasury. The order has sparked criticism from many sources, such as UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, as being repressive and preventing political freedom.

The kingdom of Bahrain is considered an ally of the US but faces growing international concern about its rights practices. A UN human rights adviser called on Bahrain in June to ensure that rights are respected following protests triggered by the decision to strip Sheikh Issa Qassem, a prominent Shi'ite religious leader, of his nationality. In February, Bahraini authorities arrested four US journalists covering the five-year anniversary of the nation's 2011 uprising and formally charged them. Amnesty International that month reported that nearly five years after Bahrain's Day of Rage protests, hope for reform has dwindled.

From Jurist, July 17. Used with permission.