Bahraini court dissolves main Shia group

By Ahmed al-Masri

DOHA (AA) – A Bahrain court on Sunday ordered the country’s main Shia group dissolved and its assets seized.

The Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments said the ruling to dissolve Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society was in light of the ministry’s request to dissolve the group, according to the official Bahrain News Agency.

Last month, a Bahraini court ruled to indefinitely suspend the activities of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain’s largest opposition movement.

In its ruling, the High Civil Court said the Al-Wefaq society was “in the habit of objection against the legitimacy of Bahrain’s constitution”.

The court said the Shia group supported violence and expressed solidarity with persons “convicted for instigating regime hate, a coup d’état and demeaning the judiciary and executive bodies”.

Bahraini daily Al-Ayam said Sunday’s ruling calls for the Shia group’s assets to be liquidated and transferred to the state treasury.

Last month, the Bahraini authorities revoked the citizenship of Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Ahmed Qassim, the country’s leading Shia cleric and the spiritual leader of Al-Wefaq.

Bahrain has been rocked by revolt since 2011, when pro-democracy protests erupted in the tiny Gulf state as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings.

The Sunni-led government blames Al-Wefaq for the upheaval, accusing the Shia party of pursuing an “Iranian agenda”.

Al-Wefaq, for its part, denies the allegations, saying it wants to see a “constitutional government” set up in the kingdom.