A Bahrain court on Wednesday dissolved a major political party that has opposed the current government, an act that Amnesty International [advocacy wbsite] said [press release] is a step towards total suppression of human rights. The National Democratic Action Society (Wa’ad) was dissolved after the Ministry of Justice of Bahrain accused the group of “advocating violence, supporting terrorism and incitement to encourage crimes and lawlessness.” Amnesty has called the allegations against Wa’ad baseless and absurd. Wa’ad had previously criticized the Bahraini constitution in February and condemned the execution of three men in January. Wa’ad was the last major opposition party in Bahrain, although two smaller opposition groups still exist [AP report] in the country.
Bahrain has had their human rights record questioned multiple times in recently. In March Bahrain’s upper house of parliament approved [JURIST report] a constitutional amendment that would allow military trials for civilians accused of being involved in terrorism plots. In September 2015 32 nations joined [JURIST report] a statement to the UN urging Bahrain to protect freedom of peaceful assembly and speech, and to investigate reports of torture used on prisoners. In April 2015 a human rights group said [JURIST report] that Bahrain’s post-2011 reforms had failed to put a stop to human rights violations including illegal detentions and torture. And in February 2015 the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior started [JURIST report] a criminal investigation against a political opposition group for allegedly illegal content posted on social media