ANHRI: Bahrain uses the judiciary to crack down on rights defenders

1 June, 2017

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) vehemently decried the ruling issued yesterday (Wednesday) by Bahrain’s Supreme Administrative Court to dissolve the National Democracy Action Society (Wa’ad) and liquidate its funds.

ANHRI said, “The ruling constitutes a blatant violation of opinion, expression and association, and retaliation for the role played by (Wa’ad) and its members in staging protests and demonstrations witnessed by Bahrain for years, in addition to its role in defending human rights and supporting those who are abused because of their human rights and political stances”.

ANHRI demanded to rescind the ruling issued against Wa’ad, halt the prosecution of activists and opponents, and release all prisoners of opinion.

ANHRI warned the Bahraini authorities against the consequences of continuing its repressive policy practiced against dissidents and human rights defenders, and using the judiciary as a tool of retaliation in accord with some political agendas.

In accordance with its charter, the National Democracy Action Society (Wa’ad) works on establishing what it calls the democratic civil state, which is based on party pluralism and the diversity of intellectual movements/ ideologies, consolidating citizenship and social justice, and the prohibition of discrimination on tribal, religious or ideological basis, as well as the non-separation of religion and politics.

The court issued the ruling, after the Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit, in last March, accusing “Wa’ad” of inciting and practicing acts of violence, promoting and changing the political regime by force, supporting terrorism, glossing over violence by glorifying people convicted of terrorism.

The law governing the political associations grants the Minister of Justice the right to request the dissolution of any political association and the liquidation of its funds upon a judicial ruling.

The ruling came days after the Bahraini security forces raided Duraz village to disperse the sit-in staged therein. At that time, Wa’ad issued a statement calling on the authorities to release the detainees, the withdrawal of the security forces, and to halt the violations committed against residents. The statement also revealed the arrest of 286 citizens without declaring their whereabouts, which it deems to have violated the constitution and law.

Last year, Bahrain dissolved the Shiite-affiliated Islamic Waqf Society, liquidated its funds, and detained its leader Sheikh Ali Salman in late 2014.


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