Bahraini authorities banned Tuesday the Shiite opposition from organizing a demonstration against the jailing of medics and activists over their roles in pro-democracy protests quelled in mid-March.
The head of Public Security, Major General Tareq Mubarak bin Daina, turned down the request by Bahrain’s main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq to organize a “human chain” protest in Manama, BNA state news agency said.
The security chief said the location for the protest, which had been planned to take place outside the offices of Al-Wefaq in Zinj, west of Manama, “is not suitable security-wise.” He said the protest “could cause traffic bottlenecks… while it will be difficult for organizers and security bodies to control the human chain, which might affect the safety of participants and those using the road.” Bin Daina ordered security measures to ban the event, BNA said.
Al-Wefaq slammed the ban as “illegal” and an “indication of constraints on the freedom of expression,” in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
On Monday, a Bahraini special court established to try defendants accused of taking part in a month-long Shiite-led protests slapped jail verdicts ranging between 15 and 25 years on 36 Shiites.