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Parliamentary questions
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9 March 2017
Question for written answer E-001636-17
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Marietje Schaake (ALDE)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Bahrain moves to ban opposition party
 Answer in writing 

On 6 March 2017, Bahrain’s Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs filed a lawsuit to dissolve the leading secular opposition party Waad, also known as the National Democratic Action Society. In a statement, the Ministry accused the party of inciting acts of terrorism and promoting the violent and forceful overthrow of the political regime.

The first hearing in the case is expected to take place on 20 March(1). A leader of the Waad group called the move an attempt to undermine political work by the opposition. In June 2016, the government took similar action when it ordered the dissolution of Al-Wefaq — the largest opposition group at the time. On 5 March 2017, the Consultative Council, a government advisory body, passed a constitutional amendment authorising military trials of civilians suspected of attacking security forces.

1. Is the VP/HR aware of the recent developments in Bahrain? What is her assessment?

2. Will the VP/HR make a public statement to denounce the lawsuit filed against the Waad party? If not, why not?

3. What action are the VP/HR and EEAS undertaking with regard to Bahrain? Is the establishment of a formal human rights dialogue with the Bahraini authorities under consideration?


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