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Bahrain moves to ban opposition party

Written Question to High Representative Federica Mogherini

Today MEP Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) asked the following written question to Vice President Federica Mogherini.

On March 6, Bahrain's Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs filed a lawsuit to dissolve leading secular opposition party Waad, also known as the National Democratic Action Society. The Ministry announced in a statement the allegations of "incitement of acts of terrorism and promoting violent and forceful overthrow of the political regime". The first hearing in the case is expected to take place on March 20 (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-Wafeq, the then largest opposition group. On March 5, 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 and how does she assess it?

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

3. What actions are the VP/HR and the EEAS undertaking with regards to Bahrain, and is the establishment of a formal human rights dialogue with the Bahraini authorities being considered?