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Bahrain to Decide Tuesday on Dissolving al-Wefaq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Wefaq Headquarters / Reuters

Manama-The Bahraini government re-scheduled the September 4 court hearing on dissolving al-Wefaq Society for Tuesday.

Represented by the Ministry of Justice, the Bahraini government demanded the implementation of article 23 of Law on Political Associations which states that the court should decide on dissolution requests within thirty days at most.

The Bahraini Administrative Court received a request last week from the Ministry of Justice to change the hearing on dissolving Wefaq, yet the court set the date on September 4 instead of October 6.

Wefaq’s legal representative Abdulallah al-Shamlawi said that the defense team is indecisive as to the approach on dealing with Tuesday’s hearing.

The team will be insisting on postponing the hearing until September 4 given the lack of developments, he added.

“The society is now under the control of the head of Associations’ Bureau and subject to judicial custody, according to the sentence issued on June 14,” he explained.

Wefaq’s defense team consists of 15 lawyers.

The Bahraini government accused Wefaq Islamic Society of conducting terrorist acts, spreading extremism in the Bahraini society and jeopardizing civil peace.

The society faces a long list of charges especially that its official website usually challenges the legitimacy of the Bahraini Constitution and describes the government as “unconstitutional.”

Wefaq also stood with a convict who was charged of instigating hate against the regime, calling for toppling the regime, and insulting the judiciary and executive powers. Of the charges facing Wefaq also is declaring that most of the Bahraini people refuse the constitution of 2002.

The government charged Wefaq for creating “an environment for terrorism, extremism and violence in addition to calling for foreign interference in internal affairs.”

The association issued a statement following the court ruling against its Secretary General, describing the verdict as “victorious, dignified and a defeat to the regime.”

Wefaq and its leadership requested foreign interference several times, asking it to “play an active role in Bahrain as it did in several cases in the area.”

Wefaq also challenged the legitimacy of the Legislative Authority and mentioned in several statements that the parliament’s existence is meaningless and illegitimate.”

Furthermore, Wefaq has transformed houses of worships into political platforms to express its opinions. Recently, Wefaq called on people to “refrain from shopping, refueling, and carrying out official transactions … coinciding with (what it called) the malevolent prosecution.”