DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The United Nation's secretary-general has expressed concern over an intensifying crackdown on opposition groups and activists in the tiny island nation of Bahrain.
Ban Ki-moon says in a statement on Thursday that recent decisions by Bahrain's Sunni rulers appear "seemingly aimed at restricting the country's political opposition."
He says the moves could undermine any reforms and lessen the chance of any national conciliation.
In the last week, Bahrain suspended the country's largest Shiite opposition group in a surprise court hearing, detained a prominent activist on charges of spreading "false news" and apparently forced another activist into exile.
Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet. It saw its Shiite majority and others rise up in protests demanding more political freedoms in 2011. Low-level unrest has continued there ever since.