(MENAFN - Arab News) Bahrain yesterday banned all protests and gatherings to ensure "security is maintained," after a spate of clashes between demonstrators and police.
In a statement carried by the official BNA news agency, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa said the latest ban was aimed at safeguarding "civil peace."
Sheikh Rashid stressed opposition protests led by Al-Wefaq movement had been marred by "acts of sabotage" and that the demonstrators had threatened national security by calling "for the overthrow of the government."
"It was decided to stop all rallies and gatherings (to ensure)... security is maintained," the ministry statement said. It warned that "any illegal rally or gathering would be tackled through legal actions against those calling for it and participants."
The authorities had rejected an Al-Wefaq request for a rally on Sunday evening at Akar, a village near the capital Manama where a bomb fatally wounded a policeman on Oct. 18. The opposition then organized a demonstration, in agreement with the authorities, and when people took to the streets they chanted anti-king slogans.