Bahrain: Al-Wefaq suspend attending the dialogue with regime

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - "After its long forbearance to the deliberate delay and absence of positive responce by the official party on the dialogue table, and after the esclated repression and which has reached its peak by attacking Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim’s house, and given the unfair and harsh sentences being passed down to the prisoners of conscience, Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and in coordination with the national democratic opposition parties, declares it will temporarily stop attending the dialogue’s preparation sessions for two weeks.

Al-Wefaq also declares that it’s options are open on different levels, taking into account the just demands of the Bahraini people and the good of the country with all its factions".

Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society
Wednesday 22 May 2013

On May 17, the country’s Saudi-backed security forces attacked the sheikh’s house in the village of Diraz near capital Manama.

Born in 1937, Sheikh Issa Qassem is often referred to as the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s main opposition party.

Six opposition groups have been holding talks with regime officials since February.

The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when the people, inspired by the popular revolutions that toppled the dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, started holding massive demonstrations.

The Bahraini government promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.

Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including doctors and nurses accused of treating injured revolutionaries.

A report published by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011 found that the Al Khalifa regime had used excessive force in the crackdown and accused Manama of torturing political activists, politicians, and protesters.

Bahrainis say they will continue holding demonstrations until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.