The Justice Ministry of Bahrain on Sunday announced that it would file a lawsuit seeking to ban the Islamic party known as the Islamic Action Society, or Amal, a party composed of mostly Shiite Muslims who have been critical of the monarchy. Reports on Monday indicated that the Ministry of Justice alleges that Amal has engaged in illegal activity, including inciting escalating political tension [AP report] in the country. Members of Amal are among the 20 rights activists who will receive retrials [JURIST report] along with prominent activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja [BBC profile; JURIST news archive].
Tension between Bahrain's government and opposition groups has escalated recently. Last week pro-democracy activist Al-Khawaja ended his hunger strike [JURIST report] weeks after he and 20 other incarcerated protestors were granted a retrial by a Bahrain appeals court. Earlier in May, Al-Khawaja's daughter, Zainab Al-Khawaja, was sentenced [JURIST report] to one month in prison for trying to organize an anti-government protest. Also in May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] called for the immediate release [JURIST report] of the leaders of last year's anti-government protests, including Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja. In April, HRW issued a report claiming that Bahraini police were abusing detained protesters [JURIST report]. Earlier in April, Amnesty International [advocacy website] declared that Bahrain's government committed human rights violations [JURIST report] against anti-government protesters.