Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bahrain Prohibits All Political Activity By Religious Leaders

Gulf News and Middle East Confidential report that on Saturday Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa promulgated amendments to the 2005 Political Society Law.  That law banned political societies with religious agendas and and banned the use of religious organizations to promote political ideas.  It also prohibited judges, diplomats and security and military personnel from joining any political society. Saturday's amendments, endorsed by parliament last month, however, go farther. They prohibit any religious figure who delivers sermons from being a member of a political society or engaging in political activities. Critics say the amendments are aimed at restricting the activities of the Shia population that have been protesting against the government and calling for structural political reforms. Justice Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Khalifa said that places of worship have been exploited for political purposes.