Posts Tagged Bahraini Parliament

Bahrain parliamentarians demand treason charges after WikiLeaks

May 29, 2011

Cairo – Sunni Salafist parliamentarians in Bharain Sunday called on the authorities to prosecute their former Shiite lawmaker colleagues for treason, in the wake of WikiLeaks documents suggesting the al-Wefaq opposition group met US embassy officials in Manama.

In a statement the al-Asalah Islamic Society, which represents Salafists, called al-Wefaq – which held almost half of the 40-seat assembly – a ‘poisoned dagger’ threatening national security on the Gulf island in the wake of the leaked US diplomatic cables.

Al-Wefaq, the country’s leading Shiite opposition grouping, resigned its parliamentary posts in February in protest over the lethal security crackdown against pro-reform protesters in the capital Manama on February 14th.

According to al-Asalah, the cables reveal high-level cooperation between al-Wefaq, which is also accused of having links to Iran, and the Americans.

‘Such meetings reveal that al-Wefaq is not a typical political opposition grouping but a sectarian one that jumps in the lap of the Americans and has a clandestine agenda to betray the country,’ the statement said.

‘The meetings also prove that al-Wefaq is not just an agent for the Iranian agenda in the country but also the American one’.

The Salafist grouping claim that such meetings reveal the extent of the foreign ‘conspiracy’ against Bahrain by powers such as the US, Britain and Iran, among others.

At least 30 people have been killed during government crackdowns on protesters, which included the use of live ammunition, activists say.

Four policemen were also killed, according to the Interior Ministry.

Hundreds of people had been arrested, and more than 1,500 were sacked from their jobs – including medical staff, educators, other professionals and students – for taking part in the anti-government rallies.

In the wake of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, protests demanding political reform and greater freedoms in Sunni-ruled, Shi’ite majority Bahrain began on February 14.

Bahrain, which is the home of the US Navy 5th Fleet, and other Sunni-ruled countries in the region have accused Shi’ite-led Iran of meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

Violence escalated in March, when Gulf troops were deployed to the small island kingdom and a state of emergency was declared to help quell the unrest.

The state of emergency, which is set to be lifted on June 1, bans all public gatherings and allows for arbitrary arrests and the trial of civilians in military courts.

Source: Monsters and Critics.

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Bahrain parliament now down to 22 members

May 17, 2011

MANAMA: Bahrain’s parliament has accepted the resignations of seven more lawmakers from the Shiite opposition, leaving the 40-member parliament with only 22 lawmakers.

The resignations were submitted in February over the deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters. The lawmakers acted alongside 11 other Shiite opposition members of parliament whose resignations were previously accepted.

Elections to replace the 18 empty seats are scheduled for September.

Shiites make up about 70 percent of the population in a kingdom ruled by a 200-year-old Sunni dynasty but parliament is dominated by Sunnis. The Shiite lawmakers were the driving force behind protests calling for political reforms that began in February.

Bahraini authorities have been seeking to prosecute opposition leaders and other protesters perceived to be linked to clashes and protests in the Gulf Arab nation.

A special security court set up under martial law sentenced four people to death last month for killing two policemen during the unrest. It is also trying 21 mostly Shiite opposition leaders and political activists accused of plotting against the state.

Source: Arab News.

, , , , ,

Leave a comment