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Bahraini court suspends Al-Wefaq opposition group

The Shia group is accused of creating "an environment for terrorism, extremism and violence."

Protests in Bahrain

A Bahraini court has issued an order suspending the activities of the country's main Shia opposition group on charges of "terrorism, extremism, and violence" in the kingdom.

The official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said on Tuesday that the court was pending a verdict on dissolving the Al-Wefaq society altogether after documenting numerous violations under Bahraini laws.

Al-Wefaq was accused of creating "an environment for terrorism, extremism and violence as well as a call for foreign interference in internal national affairs," BNA said.

The ministry of justice said the suspension was part of a drive to "combat extremism... and protect society".

Al-Wefaq will be unable to operate until a verdict is issued on dissolving it, BNA reported.

The announcement comes a day after Bahraini security forces re-arrested human rights activist Nabeel Rajab.

Rajab's lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi said on Twitter on Tuesday that his client was referred to the public prosecution service and is being held for one week pending investigation on charges of "spreading false information".

Bahrain, which bans protests and gatherings not licensed by the government, put down a 2011 Shia opposition uprising, but sporadic protests and small-scale clashes persist.

The government says the protesters are supported and influenced by Iran but activists say they are fighting for political freedoms.


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