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Washington worried over suspension of "oppositional organisation" in Bahrain

The United States expressed concern after a Bahraini court banned the country's main opposition group, Al-Wefaq, for three months on Tuesday, just weeks before a parliamentary election the group had already said it would boycott.

Al-Wefaq draws most of its support from the Shiite majority in the Sunni-ruled nation.

The spokeswoman for the US Department of State, Jen Psaki, said the following in response to the decision: "We are worried that such an action will work against establishing a favourable climate in the country and its progress towards comprehensive and effective political action."

The Bahraini authorities filed a lawsuit against Al-Wefaq and called for the termination of the group's activities, which allegedly violated the law of associations.

Political parties are banned in Bahrain, as in other Gulf Arab monarchies. Al-Wefaq has the status of an association.

The Ministry of Justice for the Kingdom of Bahrain issued a press statement in which it declared: "The lawsuit filed against Al-Wefaq is a direct result of the organisation's unwillingness to adhere to the law. The group continuously violates many legal regulations by holding illegal conferences."

Al-Wefaq denied the Ministry of Justice's claims and declared that the measures carried out by the government are "blatant political decisions carried out against the group."

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Asia & AmericasBahrainMiddle EastNewsUS
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