Volume. 11911
Bahrain bans Shia clerics' council
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Bahrain99b(1).jpgA Bahraini court shuttered a Shia Muslim clerics' council on Wednesday, after the authorities in the Sunni-ruled kingdom accused it of politicization and illegal operations.
The court ordered the closure of the Olamaa Islamic Council and the liquidation of its assets in response to a lawsuit by the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment, a judicial source said.
The ministry said in September that the office had been "functioning outside the law."
The verdict came as the authorities continue the crackdown on opposition protests by the Shias, who make up the majority of the population in the Persian Gulf archipelago.
The council, led by prominent cleric Issa Qassem, "violates the constitution and the laws of the kingdom," the ministry said and accused its members of "using it to practice politics under a confessional cover."
The council also "adopted the call for the so-called revolution," it charged, referring to protests against the government that began in February 2011.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has called on the Bahraini regime to investigate the death of 19-year-old Fadel Abbas Musalem in police custody.
According to Press TV, the London-based group said in a statement issued on Tuesday that Musalem was shot in the head when police tried to arrest him as he was visiting a recently freed prisoner in Markh, a village near the capital Manama.
The statement said that besides a wound to his head, Musalem’s body had signs of "bruises on his back, around the neck and on his face,” adding that the teenager also had a "deep wound to the right shoulder."
In Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, there are still almost daily demonstrations, mostly outside the capital Manama.
At least 89 people have been killed in Bahrain since the protests began, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.

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