Bahrain announces ban on all rallies and protests
Bahrain's interior minister announced a ban Tuesday on all rallies and protests following string of violations committed by opposition groups.
Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said the state has strived in the previous phase to protect freedom of expression by allowing rallies and gatherings, "but violations repeatedly occurred in those events, which also lack of commitment of participants to the legal regulations."
Those events, organized by some political societies, were headed by the largest opposition group, Al Wefaq National Islamic Society.
"Rallies and gatherings were associated with violence, rioting and attacks on public and private property that affected commercial and economic sectors. They were also a major threat to the safety of the public," said the minister.
He added that it was decided to stop all rallies and gatherings until the maintaining of security is ensured to protect national unity and social fabric to fight extremism.
Lt.General Shaikh Rashid said that those violations were continuation of lawbreaking acts in February and March of 2011, in which they extended to callings for the overthrowing of leading national figures and sovereignty of the state.
"The Interior Minister has strived to tackle those violations through coordination with the organizers in many occasions, but they failed to control those events despite their promises."
The minister concluded that any illegal rally or gathering will be tackled through legal actions against those calling for it and participants.
"Anyone who has a connection with such irregularities will be hold accountable," stated the minister.