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Clashes erupt in Bahrain after al-Wefaq society is dissolved

A screen capture from a video published by Ruptly on July 17, 2016 showing Bahrainis protest the dissolving of the country’s main Shia opposition group

Clashes have broken out between Bahraini police and demonstrators following Manama’s decision to dissolve the country’s main Shia opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

On Sunday, police used teargas to disperse the demonstrators who were marching in the capital Manama in protest to the court’s decision.

Protesters also voiced their support for top Shia scholar Sheikh Isa Qassim, who was stripped of his citizenship in line with Bahrain’s continued crackdown on dissent.

Earlier, Bahrain’s so-called administrative court ordered the dissolution of al-Wefaq and the seizure of its funds after the Bahraini Justice Ministry had suspended the opposition group’s activities on June 14.

Less than a month ago, authorities in Manama revoked the nationality of Sheikh Qassim, accusing him of seeking the “creation of a sectarian environment” through his connections with foreign powers.

Bahraini protesters hold portraits of top Bahraini Shia cleric Sheikh Issa Qassim during a protest rally against the revocation of the clergyman’s citizenship, in the village of Diraz, west of the capital, Manama, July 10, 2016. (AFP)

Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.

The Al Khalifah regime is engaged in a harsh crackdown on dissent and widespread discrimination against the country's Shia majority. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the tiny Persian Gulf state.

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