A court in Bahrain has upheld a travel ban imposed on senior opposition figure and former lawmaker, Khalil Marzooq, who is on trial in the Persian Gulf country on charges of inciting terrorism.
On Tuesday, the Bahraini court confirmed Marzooq’s travel ban which had been ordered at the first hearing in the trial of the prominent opposition figure.
Marzooq was arrested on September 17. He was charged by Bahrain’s public prosecutor with “promoting acts that amount to terrorist crimes.” He has rejected the charges.
The ex-MP was freed after the trial started, but was banned from leaving the kingdom.
Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, said that the malicious case of Marzooq shows the ruling Al Khalifa regime’s plan to restrict peaceful political activism in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.
“This case reveals the attempts to restrict political activism. If the authority is serious to move forward it must stop such malicious cases against dissidents exercising freedom of expression, stop the unfair trials and release all prisoners of conscience,” the opposition bloc said.
Marzooq served as deputy speaker in Bahrain’s 40-member parliament before a walkout was staged in 2011 by 18 members of al-Wefaq in protest against the violent crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of the country, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government in its crackdown on the peaceful protesters.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
Physicians for Human Rights say doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police” in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.