A proposal to hike punishment for criticizing the king of Bahrain is an attempt to stifle protests ahead of the Grand Prix race, a human rights group charges.
Dozens of people were injured in demonstrations on the second anniversary of an uprising by pro-democracy activists in Bahrain, officials said.
The government in Bahrain respects the opinions of other political groups in the country in the spirit of national reconciliation, the foreign minister said.
All communities in Bahrain are expected to contribute to a national dialogue proposed by the country's ruling monarchy, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
The British government welcomes the renewed attempts at reconciliation announced by the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain, a minister for the Middle East said.
The monarchy of Bahrain is "pleased" to see its constituents embrace the spirit of national consensus and dialogue, the king said in a national address.
Seven people were arrested Friday and many others sprayed with tear gas as pro-democracy protesters confronted riot police in the capital of Bahrain.
Courts in Bahrain have failed to live up to their obligation to protect the right to protest the government peacefully, Human Rights Watch said.
The Bahrain Justice Ministry filed suit against the Islamic Society Amal, seeking to disband it for alleged illegal conduct, officials said.
Shoddy trials for opposition activists rounded up during Bahrain's crackdown on pro-democracy groups are part of state policy, a rights group said.