Manama-A Bahrain court on Sunday dissolved al-Wefaq National Islamic Society and ordered its funds to be seized by the government, accusing it of helping foster violence and terrorism.
The administrative court in Manama ruled that Wefaq had taken aim at “respect for the rule of law and the foundations of citizenship based on coexistence, tolerance and respect for others; provided an atmosphere for harboring terrorism, extremism and violence and for foreign interference in national affairs.”
The court had already suspended all of Wefaq’s activities on June 14, ordering its offices closed and assets frozen.
On June 28, Wefaq’s defense lawyers withdrew from court proceedings and the remaining hearings were held without their presence, knowing that dissolving the society does not require the lawyers’ attendance. For the sentence to be final, 45 days should pass. Until then, the society enjoys the right of appeal and cassation.
The court’s sentence stated that Wefaq supported violent acts via publishing terrorists’ pictures holding sharp tools and claiming they are peaceful protestors; it also backed those who have been convicted of calls to topple the rule, asked for foreign intervention in several cases and doubted the legitimacy of the legislative authority.
According to the court, the society drifted from its political activity to inducing violence especially after it considered that “Bahrain is suffering from a vacuum over the 2002 constitution’s failure to garner the consensus of the people; Also the constitutional amendments carried out in 2012 don’t represent the nation’s will.”
The Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs reiterated keenness to protect the national unity, deepen intact political practices, reject violence, sectarianism and terrorism, and contribute to the comprehensive development and progress within the reform plan.
Item 3 of the political societies law in Bahrain describes associations as democratic, public and national entities that work on representing citizens and reinforcing the political practice and cultural background according to the constitution and the national work pact.