Bahrain’s minister of justice threatened legal action against any political organisation found communicating or expressing support for the people named in a new Qatar-linked blacklist. The ministry would hold accountable “all those who employ religion to support organised ties or allegiances to a state” that targets the stability of other states, Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa said in a statement carried by state news agency BNA.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Friday designated as terrorists dozens of people and groups with alleged links to Qatar, after severing diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday. The four states accuse Qatar of supporting Islamist militants and arch-foe Iran, a charge Qatar calls “baseless”.
Bahrain has carried out an extensive crackdown since a 2011 uprising led by its majority Shi’ite community, saying it faces an Iran-backed security threat by an opposition that seeks to overthrow the government by force. Human rights groups say the tiny Gulf kingdom has used allegations of terrorism to suppress peaceful dissent, which Bahraini authorities deny.