Bahrain opp. boycotts dialog session

A Bahraini protester stands facing riot police during clashes in the village of North Sehla, west of Manama, on September 1, 2013.

The Bahraini opposition has boycotted a national dialogue session in protest against the Manama regimeâ„¢s restrictions on its activities.

Representatives from five Bahraini opposition groups led by al-Wefaq bloc did not participate in the Wednesday talks which were planned to end the kingdomâ„¢s political deadlock.

Al-Wefaq said in a statement on Thursday that the opposition boycotted the talks in protest to Justice Ministryâ„¢s decision to limit “meetings of political societies with diplomats and international delegates.”

Under the limitations, political groups in the Persian Gulf kingdom need government approval for their intended meetings with foreign diplomats and that a foreign ministry representative must be present in such meetings.

The al-Wefaq statement described the decision as “restricting and irrational.”

Launched in February, the national dialogue was aimed at ending the political deadlock that was sparked by anti-regime demonstrations. The talks resumed on August 28 after a two-month summer break.

Bahrainis have been staging demonstrations since mid-February 2011, demanding political reforms 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.

Scores have been killed, many of them under torture while in custody, and thousands more detained since the popular uprising in Bahrain began.

Protesters say they will continue holding anti-regime demonstrations until their demands for the establishment of a democratically-elected government and an end to rights violations are met.


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Republished from: Press TV