Bahrain’s security forces raided today (Thursday October 20, 2016) the headquarters of Bahrain’s biggest opposition society, The National Islamic Society, al-Wefaq in Bilad al-Qadeem, according to eyewitnesses.
Activists confirmed that security forces also raided the branch office of al-Wefaq Society in the Western Region, in the town of Malikiya. Photos circulated showed that the forces were confiscating the possessions and properties of the society.
Last September 22, the Bahraini Appeals Court supported a Civil Court ruling to close al-Wefaq’s headquarters, and another ruling to dissolve and liquidate it. This came after [the Appeal Court] rejected an appeal filed by the society’s lawyers, for not “having the capacity”.
The step to close and dissolve al-Wefaq received international criticism by Bahrain’s allies, among them Washington and London, in addition to other Western countries. Also, both the UN Secretary General and High Commissioner of Human Rights criticized this step.
The aforementioned step came as part of a package of extreme decisions taken against the opposition and Shiite majority, on top of which was revoking the citizenship of the Shiite majority spiritual leader, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.