We deeply regret the decision by a Bahraini court on Sunday to dissolve Al Wefaq, the country’s largest opposition group, following its initial closure on 14 June. In spite of strong calls from the international community for Bahrain to seek to de-escalate the worrying tensions in the country, we regret the decision to press ahead with the ban. Reports suggest that the court hearing on the ban was carried out without due regard for the principles of fair trial.
The ban on Al Wefaq is the latest in a series of measures over the last few months that appear to be designed to quash dissent. We urge the authorities, and the national human rights institutions in place in Bahrain, to take immediate confidence-building measures to ensure the rights to freedom of peaceful expression, assembly and association are respected. We urge them to review the decision to ban Al Wefaq and other organisations that have been suspended for peaceful exercise of their rights.
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