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Bahrain

Bahraini court confirms travel ban on Marzooq

marzooqA court in Bahrain has confirmed 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.

According to a judicial source, the ban which had been ordered at the first hearing in the trial of the prominent opposition figure, was confirmed on Monday while he was present in court.

The former lawmaker’s defence team had requested lifting the travel ban.

The court set the next hearing for December 12.

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.

Marzooq served as deputy speaker in Bahrain’s 40-member parliament before a walkout was staged in 2011 by 18 members of al-Wefaq, which is Bahrain’s main opposition group, in protest against the violent crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators.

On September 18, al-Wefaq boycotted national reconciliation talks in protest against the detention of Marzooq.

Bahrain, which is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, has been the scene of anti-regime protests since February 2011.

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 says 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.

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