x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Bahrain keeps travel ban on opposition figure

Bahrain court rejects appeal to lift travel ban on Khalil Al Marzooq, who faces charges of encouraging anti-government violence.

MANAMA, Bahrain // A Bahrain court has rejected an appeal to lift a travel ban on a senior opposition figure facing charges of encouraging anti-government violence.

Lawyers backing Khalil Al Marzooq also challenged the anti-terrorism codes under which he is charged, which can strip citizenship in some cases. But the court on Monday said the charges stand and set the next hearing for December 12.

The case has deepened tensions in the kingdom, which has faced near-nonstop unrest and bloodshed since majority Shiites began an Arab Spring-inspired uprising in February 2011 seeking a greater political voice.

Shiite leaders broke off reconciliation talks after the September arrest of Al Marzooq, a top official with the main Shiite political bloc Al Wefaq.

Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Associated Press