Bahrain’s parliament has approved a bill that bars members of opposition groups from running in elections.
The parliament’s upper house passed the draft bill. Lawmakers referred to what they described as opposition parties’ violations of the constitution and laws of the kingdom. The bill still needs to be signed by the king to become law. The latest step in a crackdown against critics comes ahead of this year’s parliamentary elections. Bahraini authorities have tried to stifle political dissent since the start of anti-regime protests in February 20-11. The Manama regime dissolved the main opposition Party al-Wefaq and imprisoned its Secretary General Sheikh Ali al-Salman last year. Other opposition figures as well as human rights activists, lawyers and journalists have also been imprisoned or targeted.
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