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Bahrain threatens to revoke demonstrators' drivers' licences

Bahrain's interior ministry on Monday evening warned that it would revoke the driving licence of anyone who would stall traffic on Wednesday as part of a plan to choke Manama

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 11:06 September 20, 2011

Manama: Bahrain’s interior ministry on Monday evening warned that it would revoke the driving licence of anyone who would stall traffic on Wednesday as part of a plan to choke Manama.

“We will use the full extent of the law in dealing with people who break the rules to cause chaos on the roads, abuse public order and harm people’s interests,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Legal action will include prison terms and revoking the driving licence and impounding the vehicle for up to one year,” the ministry said.

Parents should make sure their sons and daughters are not exploited by other people to break the law, the ministry said.

Action urged against the government

Social networks supporting action against the government last week said that demonstrators should join a “Blockade Manama” plan and use their cars on Wednesday to blockade the capital’s vital roads and highways and bring the country to a standstill.

The call was on Monday morning condemned by the Information Affairs Authority (IAA).

“Those who engage in this activity will not be acting out of civil disobedience but instead will be breaking the law,” the IAA, which replaced the information ministry, said.

“Businesses and their employees have the right to go to work and earn a living without being prevented from doing so by vandals and lawbreakers seeking to damage the country’s economy,” it said.

By-elections

The timing of this action meant to coincide with the by-elections scheduled for Saturday is a key indicator of the nature of many who have opposed all of the government’s initiatives to resolve the crises and allow Bahrain to continue upon its path of reform, the statement said.

“The effort to undermine Bahrain once again, forcing the country under an economic siege and sabotaging elections will not be tolerated,” Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, international media advisor for the IAA, said.

Bahrainis are scheduled to elect 14 new lawmakers on Saturday, out of 18 who will be replacing the MPs from Al Wefaq who resigned in late February. Four candidates, including one woman, have been declared winners after their competitors had pulled out of the race.

Al Wefaq and other opposition groups have called for the boycott of the polls.
 

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