23-09-2021 11:56 PM Jerusalem Timing

Bahrain Rebuffs British, US over Al-Wefaq Ban: "Unacceptable Interference"

Bahrain Rebuffs British, US over Al-Wefaq Ban:

Bahrain has rebuffed its British and US allies over a ban on the main opposition group in the country, insisting it "will brook no interference in its internal affairs."

Bahrain has rebuffed its British and US allies over a ban on the main opposition group in the country, insisting it "will brook no interference in its internal affairs."

In a  statement issued late on Monday, foreign ministry hit back its western allies as saying:    "Such statements and positions are unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of the kingdom of Bahrain, and in the decisions of the Bahraini judicial process, which provides all necessary standards of justice, fairness, transparency and independence."

The "statements are unjustified and only give encouragement to groups which support extremism and terrorism," it added.

The ministry said it hoped "friendly and allied countries take into account the interests" of Bahrain, just as it "is keen to take into account the interests of all allies and partners in order to preserve their distinctive historical relations, and to ensure security and stability in the region."

Earlier on Sunday the so-called administrative court in Manama ordered the dissolution of al-Wefaq and the seizure of its fund, almost a month after the regime suspended its activities.

The ruling was condemned around the world, by Iran as well as Western governments and the United Nations.

Sunday's move was a part of a wide crackdown on political dissent in Bahrain. The Manama regime has unleashed a crackdown on opposition groups since a wave of pro-democracy protests in 2011 called for greater freedoms in the kingdom.

Al-Wefaq’s secretary general, Sheikh Ali Salman, has been in prison since December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime and collaborating with foreign powers, charges he has denied. A court sentenced him to four years in prison in June 2015.

The spiritual leader of the group, Sheikh Issa Qassim, has also been stripped of his Bahraini citizenship over similar accusations. On Saturday, the public prosecutor in Bahrain said the cleric will go on trial early next month on charges of “illegal fund collections and money laundering,” without providing an exact date.