World Bulletin/News Desk
Bahraini authorities are taking legal action against the opposition Al Wefaq group for organising a banned anti-government march in which six protesters were arrested, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
It was not immediately clear what the action might entail, but the government has threatened to ban the group in the past and its statement comes despite calls from Washington for Bahraini leaders to pursue a meaningful dialogue with the opposition.
Opposition parties led by Al Wefaq are demanding full powers for the elected parliament to legislate and form governments.
Police used teargas and stun grenades to break up Friday's march, which dozens of protesters took part in.
"The Interior Ministry holds Al Wefaq responsible for violating the law and encouraging their supporters to participate in a non-sanctioned event," said a statement from the ministry distributed by the government's public relations office.
The statement said Al Wefaq had been told a day earlier that its protest had not been authorised and that the demonstrators engaged in "the blocking of roads, vandalism and spreading fear and concerns among the business owners in the area".
"The ministry affirms its support for free speech but reminds all citizens that freedom of expression does not include vandalism, spreading fear amongst the community and attempting to create chaos. The ministry has taken legal action to file a case against Al Wefaq," it said.
It added that the ministry had also filed cases with the public prosecutor against the six arrested protesters.
"Wefaq has been threatened in the past, but the level and the wording, all of these show it is possibly more serious than at any other time," Jasim Husain, one of the group's leaders, said.
"But they are not threatening yet a ban. The wording is legal action."
Armoured vehicles and riot police had closed off some of the main roads leading into the city, but dozens of protesters attended the march, which had been tweeted as "freedom for prisoners of conscience".
In a joint statement, the G7 leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States, along with the European Union, said they "are united in rejecting the electoral process" that led to the May 20 ballot.
An Iraqi refugee baby died as Belgian police was chasing a vehicle carrying illegal migrants
'If it doesn’t happen, maybe it will happen later,' American president says
Haidar al-Abadi says agreement reached with winning coalition bloc
Controversial picture of Haram al-Sharif circulates on social media
International court responds to Palestinian foreign minister's request
Lava flows from Kilauea destroy warehouse at major geothermal plant while others reach Pacific Ocean
Jafar Farah was arrested in Haifa last weekend after taking part in pro-Gaza demonstration
ISIL terrorists, Iraqi forces exchange blows south of Mosul, according to local security source
Restrictions on movement of patients, medicines are 'illegal, inhumane and unacceptable': Health Ministry official
US will do anything to prevent Iran's 'malicious activities' in region, Pentagon spokesman says
Since March 30, more than 110 Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire in Gaza
Mahmoud Abbas visits hospital three times in one week, raising speculation about state of his health
Home to numerous civilizations throughout history, Iraq remains a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, monuments
No injuries were reported in the Israeli attack
The Justice Department has asked its Office of the Inspector General to look into the matter, White House says