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Bahrain Backs Off on Opposition Parties

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TEHRAN, April 16 (ICANA) – Activists shout slogans during a rally outside the Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. on April 15, 2011.
Saturday, April 16, 2011 11:46:56 PM
Bahrain Backs Off on Opposition Parties

The Bahraini regime has withdrawn a plan to dissolve main opposition parties following intense criticism from the international community and human rights organizations.

“Authorities are holding off any action until the outcome of investigations into” the al-Wefaq and the Islamic Action Association parties is announced, the state-run Bahrain News Agency said Friday.

Bahrain's rulers had earlier said the ministry of justice and Islamic affairs filed a lawsuit to dissolve the opposition parties over their alleged links to the popular uprising in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom that hosts the US Navy's 5th Fleet.

Many countries, including the United States, have voiced concern about Bahrain's plans to block the groups.

Al-Wefaq, which won 18 seats in Bahrain's 40-seat lower chamber of the parliament last year, has withdrawn its lawmakers from the country's legislature to protest the government's brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

People in Bahrain have been holding protests since Feb 14 to demand an end to the rule of the al-Khalifa dynasty.

Demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground, until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy, and a proportional voice in the government are met.

Bahraini forces have severely suppressed the anti-regime protests with the help of the UAE, Saudi, and Kuwaiti troops. Scores of protesters have been killed and many people have gone missing since the beginning of the revolution.

This is while Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Doctors Without Borders among other rights groups have criticized the Bahraini government crackdown.

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