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19th September 2013


a statement late on Wednesday.

Amnesty urges Bahrain to free opposition ex-MP

Rights group Amnesty International has urged Bahrain to free opposition former MP Khalil Marzooq, accused by Manama of links to Shiite "extremists". "Khalil al-Marzooq is a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned only for his vehement criticism of the government," the Londonbased organisation said in

"He must be immediately and unconditionally released," Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa deputy director Hassiba Hadj said. The public prosecutor of the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom decided on Tuesday to hold Marzooq -- a senior gure in the main Shiite Al-Wefaq opposition group, in custody for 30 days pending investigation on charges of inciting terrorism. Read More met Norwegian political affairs envoy Hakon Smedsvig on Thursday in the Bahraini capital, Manama. Bahrain's Western-backed monarchy earlier this month banned all diplomatic contacts by political groups unless they receive ofcial permission. The move was sharply criticized by Western governments, including the U.S. Read More developments in the country. The association called on the international community to exercise its moral and international obligations toward human rights, which are witnessing mounting violations with deterrence, and held the regime responsible for the dialogues failure and for raising the country's political and sectarian tensions. Read More

Bahrain holds prominent opposition figure in violence probe

Bahrain's chief prosecutor says a prominent opposition gure has been ordered held for 30 days while authorities investigate allegations he encouraged anti-government violence in the troubled Gulf nation. Tuesday's detention of Khalil al-Marzooq could

sharply escalate tensions in the strategic Sunni-ruled kingdom, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. A government statement on Wednesday quotes Nayef Yousif, head of Bahrain's public prosecution, as saying al-Marzooq is accused of instigating violence and links to a protest faction that authorities blame for bombings and other attacks. Read More

the attack on Dar alHukumah, the source said. Two others were acquitted.

Bahrain opposition defies ban on meeting diplomats

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group is defying a ban by the island's Sunni government to have direct contacts with foreign diplomats. Al Wefaq's secretarygeneral, Sheik Ali Salman,

Bahrain jails 5 Shiites for attack on govt office

A Bahrain court on Thursday jailed ve Shiites for periods up to 10 years after convicting them of attacking a government building with petrol bombs, a judicial source said. Three defendants were sentenced to 10 years in prison, and two others were jailed for three years over

Prosecutors accused the group of "attempting to kill security men by throwing petrol bombs at them," according to the list of charges. They were also accused of "igniting a re that could have endangered lives, and taking part in an illegal assembly of more than ve people to disturb security." Read More

Bahrain Opposition Pulls Out

In light of the Bahraini authorities' recently adopted escalatory security methods, the country'spolitical oppositionannounced yesterday [Sept. 18] that they are indenitely suspending their participation in the national dialogue, saying that this decision will be subject to continuous review in light of the political and security

Bahrains Crackdown on Dissent Continues: Political Opposition Figure Arrested

Freedom House is concerned by reports that Khalil Marzouq, a former lawmaker and leading member of Al Wefaq, the main political opposition party in Bahrain, has been arrested and charged with inciting terrorist crimes, allegedly in response to a speech he gave last week, and is expected to be held

in custody for 30 dayspending further investigation. Freedom House calls upon the government of Bahrain to heed recent calls by the United States and other United Nations member states, as well as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to respect the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. A serious dialogue with the opposition, which the Bahraini government has claimed to desire, cannot occur if opposition leaders are being arrested and imprisoned. Read More

IAA denies Khalil Marzooq detention is political

The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) has denied media reports that Khalil Marzooq had been detained for political activities or speech-related charges. For many years, Khalil Marzooq has carried out his political activities

unhindered both in and out of parliament, in and out of Bahrain, freely expressing views critical of government policy a right enshrined in Bahrains constitution and guaranteed by its laws, the IAA said in a statement to Bahrain News Agency (BNA). The investigation was over his links to an extremist group calling itself the Coalition of 14 February Revolution Youths Read More inciting terrorism. The Bahraini government has waged a crackdown on opposition protesters since an uprising broke out in February 2011. In an audio message to supporters released this week, the jailed Bahraini human rights activist Zainab Alkhawajarecited a passage from a poem in dedication to her father, human rights attorney Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who is serving a life sentence. Read More

Bahraini Opposition Suspends Talks With Monarchy

Bahrains top opposition party has suspended talks with the government following the arrest of its deputy leader. Al Wefaq says it will halt a national dialogue with the Sunni monarchy over the detention of Khalil alMarzouq on charges of