Bahrain forces raid opposition party headquarters

Published Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bahraini forces stormed the headquarters of the country’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq, on Wednesday, the political group said.

According to a statement by al-Wefaq, “heavily armed forces, backed by civil militias, have raided the building of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society in Qufool in the capital Manama” early on Wednesday afternoon.

The incident came as al-Wefaq confirmed it would continue its boycott of a national dialogue due to the government’s crackdown on dissent.

Security forces surrounded the building and placed security tape around the premises, preventing people from reaching the area, al-Wefaq said.

Al-Wefaq’s lawyer has also been prevented from entering the building. The raid team refused to show legal warrants or justification for the intervention, al-Wefaq said.

The building houses a number of departments and units of the organization, including a museum documenting human rights violations perpetrated by the Bahraini government.

The museum was inaugurated by Ali Salman, the Secretary-General of al-Wefaq on Monday.

The “revolution museum” documents activists’ struggle for justice in Bahrain. It contains belongings of dead Bahraini prisoners and exhibits over 30 different torture methods used in Bahraini jails.

On October 24, a Bahraini court temporarily released former parliamentarian and al-Wefaq member Khalil al-Marzouq, who had been detained since September over his alleged promotion of terrorism, charges he has categorically denied.

Unrest has gripped Bahrain since a 2011 uprising led by its Shia majority demanding reforms and more share in government in the kingdom ruled by the Sunni al-Khalifa dynasty.

Protesters said they would continue to hold demonstrations until they obtain a democratically-elected government and an end to human rights violations.

(Al-Akhbar)

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