Concern Over Bahrain’s Crackdown on Dissent

Concern Over Bahrain’s Crackdown on DissentConcern Over Bahrain’s Crackdown on Dissent

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Bahrain's crackdown on dissent may have catastrophic results in the region.

While voicing his alarm over recent developments in Bahrain, Zarif called for international attention to Manama's actions in a message posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

On July 17, Bahrain's administrative court ordered the dissolution of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country's main opposition group. The court also ordered the seizure of its funds.

Bahrain has given an increasing number of jail sentences to notable opposition figures over the past few months. The courts in the kingdom have stripped many, including top Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, of citizenship.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Shia clerics gathered at a main square of the village of Diraz, west of Manama, to back Sheikh Qassim in the face of the government's mounting pressure on the cleric.

Security forces reportedly attacked the gathering. They also attempted to arrest two young clerics but they escaped after the protest intensified.

Since February 2011, pro-democracy protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain, calling for political reforms and a greater role in running the tiny island with a Shia majority.