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Bahrain clamps down on NGOs

Nov. 9, 2012 at 9:33 AM

MANAMA, Bahrain, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- The government in Bahrain said it has zero tolerance for non-governmental organizations that may be working outside the letter of the law.

Unrest in Bahrain, coupled with a string of bombings in Manama gave the government there reason to ban public demonstrations. Human rights groups criticized the government for revoking the citizenship of 31 civilians for acting out against the state.

Social Development Minister Fatima Mohammed al-Balooshi called in non-governmental organizations to ensure they're following the letter of the law.

"The measure is in line of the decisions undertaken by the Cabinet to root out terror and clamp down on its financial sources," a statement published by the official Bahrain News Agency read.

The government didn't single out any particular group. A statement published this week by the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights criticized the government for the citizenship move.

"It is apparent that the actions taken by the Bahraini authorities to revoke the citizenships of 31 individuals is intended to punish them for expressing peaceful dissent and thereby intimidate others from exercising their right to freedom of expression," the statement read.

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