Bahrain : Statement by Al Wefaq’s defense panel

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SHAFAQNA – The defense panel, in the lawsuit filed by the Minister of Justice against Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, issued a statement commenting on the High Civil Court’s decision to suspend the activities of the Society on Tuesday, 28th October 2014.

The panel said the ruling was unexpected because the case was reserved to study the appropriate period of time to cancel the lawsuit. The defense panel said that it was not given the opportunity to discuss the reasons behind the lawsuit, adding, the court issued its decision before the end of the pleading period.

The panel mentioned that it had clarified to the court in the previous hearing that the By-Law of Al Wefaq Society – that is ratified by the Ministry of Justice- states that the required period of time to announce elections of the regulatory bodies of Al Wefaq extends to 60 days. An announcement to hold a General Assembly must be made at least 30 days prior to the scheduled date. Therefore, the General-Secretariat cannot go against its own Society’s By-Law and hold a General Assembly in violation of the specified periods.

A copy of the court’s decision was delivered to the Ministry of Justice within a short period after the hearing was adjourned, although usual court procedures take longer. The panel outlined that the preamble in the court’s written decision said Sheikh Ali Salman is the legal representative of the Al Wefaq to which he is Secretary-General and chairman, this, the panel said, refutes the Justice Ministry’s claims of the existence of infringements which necessitate the suspension of the Society’s activities.

Finally, the defense panel stressed that Al Wefaq Society must be allowed to challenge the decision, otherwise, the court is committing a serious violation to this constitutional right for citizens and society bodies.

October 30, 2014

Defense Panel

Dr. Hasan Radhi

Abdullah Alshamlawi

Mohammed Ahmed

Jallila Alsayed

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