Bahraini human rights organizations have said that the Bahraini authorities have strengthened the closure of the democratic space through the decision of the second Supreme Court of Appeal to uphold the verdict of dissolving the National Democratic Action Association (Waad) during the session held on Thursday, 26 October 2017. When other decisions against a number of other political or civil associations are an additional step in undermining the freedom of political and civil action in Bahrain.

The organizations pointed out that the charges on which the lawsuit against Waad was based were vague, weak and clearly malicious, explaining that this retaliation was due only to Waad's exercise of their legitimate rights under international law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to freedom of political action and association.

The organizations also mentioned that the Ministry of Justice based its action on the arbitrary restrictions imposed by the Law on Political Associations, which allows the Ministry to intervene unjustifiably in the work of political societies. The number of lawsuits and procedures the Authority has resorted to are 9 procedures since 2011, divided between: Lawsuits and Suspension Procedures. Waad is now the third political society to be dissolved after the Islamic National Reconciliation Society (Al Wefaq) and the Islamic Action Society (Amal), beside the prosecutions and crackdowns on a number of Waad leaders.

The dissolution of Waad reveals yet again the lack of judicial independency and confirms that Bahrain's political space is bleaker than before.

 

Signatories:

· Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)

· Bahrain Forum for Human Rights

· Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR)

· SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights

· The European-Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR)