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Federal Foreign Office on the dissolution of the Bahraini opposition party Al Wefaq

18.07.2016 - Press release

Today (18 July), a Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement on the most recent developments in Bahrain:

"We have noted with unease the dissolution of the Bahraini opposition party Al Wefaq with yesterday’s ruling by the High Civil Court in Bahrain. The charge brought by the public prosecution office against Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim also gives us great cause for concern.

These measures targeting the opposition threaten to further polarise Bahraini society. They also raise serious questions with regard to freedom of opinion and association as well as the rule of law in Bahrain. We appeal to the Bahraini Government to involve the country’s opposition in a national dialogue."

Background information:

On 17 July, the High Civil Court in Bahrain dissolved the country’s largest opposition party, Al Wefaq. Al Wefaq’s assets have been frozen. Previously, on 15 June 2016, the Bahraini Administrative Court suspended Al Wefaq at the request of the Ministry of Justice. Al Wefaq has 45 days to appeal against the decision to the highest civil court. There is then the possibility of a revision by the Bahraini Court of Cassation. The public prosecution office has also brought charges against Bahrain’s leading Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim. He is accused of illegal fundraising and money‑laundering. The trial is due to begin in August.

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