Manama: A Bahraini society has urged the local authorities to take practical measures to deport supporters of the Lebanese group Hezbollah and Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement.
“Practical action against the supporters is needed and all their financial activities should be frozen,” Al Asala, the expression of Salafism in Bahrain, said. “The government should not confine itself to putting Hezbollah on the terror list and condemn its policies and threats to Bahrain,” the society said in a statement.
Bahrain was the first of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to put the Lebanese militia on the terror list, citing its threats to the country, the GCC and the Muslim nation, Al Asala, represented in the lower chamber of the parliament, said.
“Now, we should emulate the examples of Saudi Arabia and Qatar and deport the supporters of Hezbollah and Aoun. Doha has given dozens of Lebanese nationals 48 hours to leave the country and we heard that 25 did arrive in the Lebanese capital Beirut and that the others were on their away. Saudi Arabia is doing the same and its ambassador in Beirut clearly said that the decision was against Hezbollah supporters and did not target a specific sect.”
Al Asala said that Bahrain should “leap into action as well and take action against those who supported Hezbollah and the Aoun movement”.
In Beirut, local Arabic daily Al Akhbar said that Saudi Arabia was getting ready to implement “unprecedented decisions against Hezbollah”.
The measures are part of the punitive action endorsed by the GCC countries against the interests of Hezbollah in the Gulf, the daily said.
However, the report did not explain the nature of the measures or when they could be implemented.
Bahrain’s parliament has been pressing for taking more action against Hezbollah.
Last week Al Asala lawmaker Abdul Hakeem Al Shammari said that nightclubs in Manama were used to support Hezbollah.
“They are being used to lure people and officers from the GCC,” he said. “They use their pictures to blackmail into providing information,” he said, but he did not elaborate.
Gulf officials insisted that the objectives of the measures announced by the GCC were clear.
“The statement issued by the GCC referred to Hezbollah backers and supporters, and not about the Lebanese or the Shiites,” one official said.
Earlier this month, the GCC said it would take action against Hezbollah supporters due to the militia’s role in the Syrian war where it was fighting alongside the regime.
However, among Lebanese nationals living in the Gulf, but not partisans of Hezbollah, there are concerns that the measures would eventually affect their status.
“We already face tremendous problems getting visas because of our nationality,” Jumana said. “We do not need the situation to get worse. Thousands of law-abiding families have been living here for years and they do not want any trouble. Everybody has to think about them and their children,” she said.