MANAMA, Bahrain, May 3 (UPI) -- Two members of an outlawed Shiite political party in Bahrain were arrested by security forces in civilian clothes, witnesses said.
Bahrain in April outlawed al-Wefaq, the country's largest Shiite political party, and the opposition Islamic Action Society for breaking the law during mass protests and for inciting violence.
Bahrain's ruling Sunni minority is struggling to suppress an uprising from the country's Shiite majority. Wefaq in 2009 took 18 seats in the 40-member Parliament.
Party Vice President Jawad Ferooz and Mattar Ibrahim Mattar, a former member of Parliament, were arrested by plainclothes policemen.
Mattar told al-Jazeera before his arrest that political debate in the country has evaporated.
"(There is) no space any more for political movement and political activities that we can do," he was quoted as saying. "No space for movement and freedom of speech and the basic humanitarian issues, such as medical services."
Witnesses told the Arab broadcaster that Mattar was ambushed by plainclothes security forces driving civilian vehicles.
Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch, told al-Jazeera that Mattar's arrest is part of a growing trend in Bahrain.
"We have reason to be concerned about the whereabouts and well-being of Mattar Ibrahim and Jawad Ferooz, and the hundreds of other Bahrainis who have been detained, in some cases for more than a month by the authorities," he said.