Bahrain bans rallies, public gatherings
Manama, October 30, 2012
Bahrain has banned all rallies and public gatherings until further notice, in order to preserve civil peace and protect national unity, said a senior government official.
Legal action will be taken against those calling for, or taking part in, illegal demonstrations, Interior Minister Lieutenant General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa warned last night (October 29).
He said the government had sought to protect freedom of opinion and expression by allowing marches and rallies.
However, this privilege has been abused repeatedly by organisers of such public gatherings, with participants showing a lack of commitment to the law.
These events were organised earlier by some political societies headed by Al Wefaq National Islamic Society.
He said that the violations were a continuation of lawbreaking acts in February and March 2011, in which they extended to calling for the overthrow of leading national figures and sovereignty of the state.
The minister said that those acts were devoid of respect and intended to insult, hence they jeopardised civil peace and disturbed security and general order. This, he said, couldn't be accepted under any condition.
He said that rallies and gatherings were associated with violence, rioting and attacks on public and private property that affected others and hindered public and private facilities, transport and commercial and economic sectors.
They also were a major threat to the safety of the public.
The minister said because of such violations that risk civil peace and provoked anger among many members of Bahraini society who are fed up with those violations, there was a need to put an end to them.
"The Interior Ministry has strived to tackle those violations through co-ordination with the organisers on many occasions, but they failed to control those events despite their promises." – TradeArabia News Service