Bahrain’s Interior Ministry has threatened to take legal action against anyone who takes part in an anti - regime demonstration scheduled to be held on Friday.
“Legal action will be taken against any participant in the rally planned by political associations, for flouting the law,” said Bahrain’s Public Security Chief Tariq Hassan Al-Hassan on Thursday. Hassan further said the Bahraini Interior Ministry has banned the Friday protest, claiming that the demonstration has nothing to do with exercising the freedom of expression, as guaranteed by law. The anti-regime gathering is due to be staged between Bahrain’s northern villages of Daih and Bilad al-Qadeem. Meanwhile, Bahrain’s main opposition group al-Wefaq has criticized the interior ministry decision, calling on Bahrainis for a massive turnout at the protest. The Manama regime’s human rights record has come under scrutiny over its handling of anti-regime protests that erupted across the country in early 2011. Bahrainis demanded political reform and a constitutional monarchy, a demand that later changed to an outright call for the ouster of the ruling Al Khalifa family following its brutal crackdown on popular protests. Manama also called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others arrested in the clampdown. On September 9, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay told the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) that she was frustrated with reports of human rights violations in Bahrain. “The deep polarization of society and the harsh clampdown on human rights defenders and peaceful protesters continue to make a durable solution more difficult to secure,” Pillay said.