DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An appeals court in Bahrain has upheld the dissolution of the country's main Shiite opposition group, al-Wefaq, in the latest government clampdown on its critics.
Rights group Amnesty International says authorities in Bahrain have not provided any credible evidence that al-Wefaq "is anything but a peaceful opposition movement" asking for reform.
In July, the High Civil Court found al-Wefaq guilty of supporting violence. The ruling called for al-Wefaq to be dissolved and for its assets to be liquidated.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned that decision, saying the government's efforts to suppress nonviolent opposition undermine Bahrain's cohesion and security. The Sunni-led Gulf Arab nation hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
Defense lawyers for al-Wefaq have 45 days to appeal Thursday's decision to the country's highest court.